the sky is black and blue like a battered child
Poetry Chapbook
26 pages
Released: March 2016
Publisher: feel bad all the time (self-released)

 "I had the privilege of reading this before it was published and there is some really hellish shit going on in this book. And I mean that in the best way possible." - Philip LoPresti, Author of Haunted Fucking and Death Bird Poem

  "It is what poetry should be in the 21st century." - Paul Bingham, author of Down Where the Devil Don't Go and Black House Rocked 

"Arzate has a knack with dark, bizarre twists on the familiar." - G Arthur Brown, author of Kitten and I Like Turtles 

"Arzate’s refreshingly not trying to save the world, fight social injustice or do much of anything here. Still, the sky is black and blue like a battered child succeeds in punching above its slim weight." - Brandon Adamson, author of SideQuests and Beatnik Fascism

 "A very, very short chapbook, but a powerful one. Angst, alienation, and apathy are prominent themes I felt while reading. Will definitely be rereading a lot of these poems." - Zakary McGaha, author of Locker Arms
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saying Goodbye 
Short Stories and Flash Fiction
114 Pages
Released: September 2018
Publisher: NihilismRevised
Currently out of print.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saying Goodbye 
Short Stories and Flash Fiction
126 Pages
Released: January 2024
Publisher: feel bad all the time
Second Edition

"After reading The Complete Idiots Guide to Saying Goodbye I felt in equal parts enthralled and unnerved. Arzate's stories are stark, depressing, thought-provoking and hilarious." - Brian Whitney, author of Raping the Gods

"The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Saying Goodbye both horrifies and entertains by briefly taking us out of our depraved world of delusions so that we may cringe and laugh at ourselves and everything around us." - Brandon Adamson, author of Skytrain to Nowhere

"Ben Arzate is a very good writer...  These stories cover a lot of literary and psychological ground in very few words... I find it interesting that a style I find intolerable in other writers works to Ben’s advantage... You should get this book, highly recommended." - Anita Dalton, Odd Things Considered

  "A dark and imaginative collection of stories, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Saying Goodbye is a very creatively nihilistic view to storytelling and a great writing debut, though perhaps a little short. The perfect book for readers with limited time and cynical views." - Charlie Ceats, Cultured Vultures
"If you want a bunch of quick and somewhat depressing but ultimately funny hitters, then definitely check this book out." - Gil Valle, author of A Gathering of Evil 

"This is a stellar collection of short stories and flash from one of indie lit’s most enthusiastic readers/reviewers." - Zakary McGaha, author of Locker Arms

"When taken in isolation, the stories convey an idiosyncratic sense of humor and the absurd. Here, Arzate’s imagination excels. His knack for extravagant absurdities, and the strangeness of daily life, rarely fails to entertain." - Daulton Dickey, author of Flesh Made World
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The Story of the Y
144 pages
Released: April 2019
Publisher: Cabal Books

"Cool, sharp and enigmatic" - Garrett Cook, author of A God of Hungry Walls

"There is a group of fresh voices taking weirdness very seriously, and Ben Arzate is one of its leading figures. The Story of the Y is a mysterious, adventurous hybrid. This is the love child of Carlos Fuentes and Hunter S. Thompson, covered in blood and desert dust, screaming outside a Mexican restaurant. Listen to it." - Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs

"If Ernest Hemingway and Richard Brautigan had a love child who was adopted and raised by Hunter Thompson, he would probably write very much like Ben Arzate. THE STORY OF THE Y is many things: a ghost story, a road novel, a parable of dwindling ambition, an exploration of the gray area between culture and memory, a meditation on the power of music and its hold over dreamers and revolutionaries alike. Arzate excavates pop culture with puckishness and precise prose that reflects a sordid, mystical, gritty weirdness all his own. Part Kurt Vonnegut, part FEAR & LOATHING, part Dr. Doolittle, THE STORY OF THE Y proves Arzate is the logical heir to the gonzo writers of the late 20th Century and one more than worthy to carry their torch." - Jamie Mason, author of Kezzie of Babylon

"A heady, bizarre trip with all the razor-sharp wit of a Cohen Brothers screenplay in a box of Ginsu knives." - Vincenzo Bilof, author of The Violators

 “A wild road trip to Mexico with more turns than a long line at the bank. Arzate’s prose flashes like a switchblade.” - Bram Riddlebarger, author of Golden Rod

 “What starts off as a seemingly quiet story about a mysterious record quickly turns into a bizarre and violent ride across a Mexican landscape imbued with Mr. Arzate's unique brand of humor and sense of surrealism. If Robert Rodriguez and Barry Gifford worked in the bizarro genre this would be the outcome. A wicked fun read!” - Philip LoPresti, author of A God Of Flies Among Them

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112 pages
Released: February 2020
Publisher: Atlatl Press

“Arzate’s latest, Elaine, is a deliciously-twisted, cinematic little thriller that recalls The Wicker Man in its conspiratorial coda, pervasive gender conflict, and surreal flourishes. Here, the hallucinations (if that’s what they are) are often sexual and masochistic in nature, revealing a psyche (or, perhaps a reality) in the process of breaking down. Whether Elaine is ultimately a parable about love; a cautionary tale about the insular extremes of community; or a brief, terrifying trip into the world of psychological horror what’s abundantly clear is that Arzate knows how to push our buttons, to keep us hooked to this novel’s bloody, surprisingly poetic end.” - Kurt Baumeister, author of Pax Americana

"Ben certainly knows how to stretch out the tension in this soft horrorella (horror novella, get it?)... Fans of light bizarro and newbies alike will definitely enjoy this one! It'd be a great gateway book into that genre." - Lori Hettler, The Next Best Book Club

"Elaine is unique and unpredictable, in the best ways. Arzate’s minimalist style gives the reader what they need to know and barrels ahead. Transitions happen naturally until before you know it, you’re hip deep in some very unsettling circumstances. I couldn’t read it fast enough. And while the ending seemed abrupt at first—it certainly doesn’t tie everything up with a bow—perhaps it’s meant to be the kind of book that leaves you thinking." - Amy Vaughn, author of Skull Nuggets

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dr. sodom and mrs. gomorrah
71 pages
Released: July 2020
Publisher: feel bad all the time
"An enjoyable mashup of poetry, songs, and drama unafraid of pushing the boundaries of what a text can or can’t be." - Bram Riddlebarger , author of Messages from the American Trashcan

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Music is Over!; or The Facts Concerning the Disappearance of Juntaro Yamanouchi
125 pages
Released: February 2022
Publisher: Malarkey Books
"A cross-dressing noise musician and a young woman with facial scars walk into a bar. This isn't a joke. It's Ben Arzate's new book "Music Is Over," a transgressive subway ride through a soot-blasted, violent, sexually deviant, urban, nightmare. Everything down this rabbit hole is dilapidated, bruised, rusted and torn, from the trains and buildings, to the hearts and souls of its inhabitants. Like a reverse Alice in Wonderland, where instead of finding a land of wonders, our heroes fall into a grimy, post-industrial world of brutality and late-stage capitalism gone awry. Toto, we're not in Tokyo anymore, and the way back definitely isn't clear. Arzate is going to make his readers feel filthy, and it's going to be real hard to get the blood and dirt out from under their fingernails." - Michael Allen Rose, author of Jurassichrist and Rock And Roll Death Patrol

"If I could describe this here’s how I would: imagine Arzate has a painters palate with all different, vibrant colors. But those colors are literary genres. He uses absurdism, bizarro, just the smalllllest hint of splatterpunk, a lot of suspense, some Japanese folklore, a little play on The Wizard of Oz, and a whole lot of literary fiction. It’s the most beautifully refreshing book I have read in years. It’s dark and depressing, but has that glimmer of hope, dangled like a carrot at the end of the string." - Christina Pfeiffer, Mothers of Mayhem: An Extreme Horror Podcast

"Every book is an invitation. Music is Over! is no different. It is a delicate, meticulously curated and balanced mixture of the banal as well as the fantastical… in an almost blink-and-you-might-miss-it sort of way. The Japan you didn’t know existed, as imagined by Arzate! You quickly become ensorcelled, without even realizing that what is happening is actually happening. This is a world in flux, forever transmogrifying… like a cult film you accidentally stumble upon, late at night, long after the final sign-off. There is an obvious mastery of the craft. An invisible and very intense layer of magic. A world-building that makes the illusion that much more grandiose. Once more, every book is an invitation. Make sure to not miss this one!" - Mike Kleine, author of Third World Magicks and Lonely Men Club

133 Pages
Released: September 2022
Publisher: Madness Heart Press

"Every play is stunning, beautiful, and forces the reader to question things. But 'An American Demon' is, by far, one of the most beautiful works I have read this year. Just... this is going to live rent free in my head until I die." - Christina Pfeiffer, Mothers of Mayhem: An Extreme Horror Podcast

"This is transgressive theater done competently and with truly confrontational convictions, and it is a genre of theater I hope to see more of, especially from Arzate." - Juan Valencia, Plagued by Visions


Saturday Morning Mind Control
70 Pages
Released: July 2023
Publisher: D&T Publishing

"[Ben Arzate] is like a Tom Robbins with greater brevity 
and an all-abiding sense of darkness and danger."
 - Jordan Rothacker, author of The Pit and No Other Stories

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