25 thoughts on “Teatro Grottesco – Thomas Ligotti

  1. DERANGEMENTS

    PURITY

    ‘”There is nothing in the attic,” he explained to me. “It’s only the way that your head is interacting with the space of that attic.”‘

    ‘Cooties’ as a form of a future premonitory plagiarism?
    Meanwhile, the sense of someone or something working at the writing of this story other than Ligotti himself is so strong that I cannot allow its words to get inside my own head because I was taught as a child not to let strangers talk to me, those ‘child-murderer’ types from THE FROLIC, that Everyman Frolicker. There is an undeniable IMPURITY making the story’s title ironic. Candy for the child inside the reader. The storage of evil in a jar handed over as if it belonged to me already. What is beneath the boxer shorts is not exactly a flashing like that on a toy torn from a plastic flange but a flashing off, a smoothing out, a panacea or sugar-tablet like faith sold from door to door, like the rented house being the ultimate loan or leverage that outdoes even an impure or toxic mortgage… Making the Intentional Fallacy in this work, for the first time in literature perhaps, something the reader suffers as well as the author, because something or someone between the author and the reader intervenes and takes over the autonomy of the story’s telling, a story that changes somehow each time you read it. I really feel that. In the attic as well as the basement. Like a knot round the neck, to ease the head’s syphoning.

    “Nothing that drives anybody makes any sense, if you haven’t noticed that by now. It’s just our heads,…”

  2. THE TOWN MANAGER

    “In the past, no town manager had ever been found, either alive or dead, once he had gone missing and the light in his office had been turned off.”

    This is the ultimate existential Tontine story but one where the Tontine’s value declines or becomes more fabricated like a sideshow, as each Town Manager takes over from the previous one – creating here, at this book’s publication date of 2006, an explicitly premonitory vision of the crucial 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing credit crunch (cf Leeman the Barber who later facilitated the Greek ‘haircut’?)…

    trolley

    trolley2

    And CARNES the trolley driver with trolley ‘CRANES’… Like a funfair contraption for impossibly pulling up impossible prizes of life and death with a clumsy leverage…
    A maze of lavatories, too, with each system tapped into the next, the essential Ligottian Scatology of Eschatology — followed by a futile search, each Town Manager starting off as a new broom, like history itself. (Have you noticed that major politicians, heads of state, film stars etc. used to be seen as icons, but today they are ordinary people, or worse…)
    An entertainingly absurdist vision with a force that makes it believable and frightening like that earlier syphoning of purity with the plumbing of impurity, all ended by a potentially endless möbius strip ending of this story as a beginning that I had not noticed before. An endlessness that represents a hope – or a despair that is worsened by the very existence of that hope?

  3. SIDESHOW, AND OTHER STORIES

    “I began to travel frantically from one sideshow town to another, each of them descending further than the one before it into the depths of a show business world.”

    …like the previous story’s existential tontine of the Town Manager?

    Foreword
    I. The Malignant Matrix
    II. Premature Communication
    III. The Astronomic Blur
    IV. The Abyss of Organic Forms
    V. The Phenomenal Frenzy
    Afterword

    The budding gestalt of this work, seemingly a quite compact short story, is made up of the above five vignettes as foreworded and afterworded by the first person narrator (a writer in crisis) who allows us to read the manuscript (with its own – ostensibly different – first person narrator) containing those five vignettes written by an older seeming man, a sort of casual mentor, a fellow writer, whom the first first person narrator met in a cafe, a fellow writer who left this manuscript behind, which makes me think the sideshow world they both inhabit and decry is made into a deliberately complex patchwork of visionary matters, whence nothing can be gained except the ability to be confused by contiguous titles and dry, crammed meaning which hides an empty centre of meaninglessness, with the two writers thinking all the time that this text with such visionary sounding titles holds the secret of the universe. And so the first first person narrator, intellectually rented by or to the second first person narrator, was encouraged to take up his writing again when he got home, because he didn’t need to think about accessible communication or popular entertainment, but merely to feed his insomnia with pretentious texture and the sense of philosophical fulfilment in by-passing the sides of all sideshows with loaned or mortgaged thought. The ultimate exercise in hoax and counter-hoax, each writer hoaxing the other, until the two ‘half brothers’ became a whole – the master penman of our age – having once mock-raced against each other with the statistical form of thoroughbred horses and the inevitability of a dead heat at the finish line, a dead heat “in which the stars themselves burn low with a dim, flickering light that illuminates an indefinite swirling blur, wherein it is not possible to observe any definite shapes or signs.”
    A masterwork in meticulous deviousness with a sideshow of a reviewer equally devious in exposing or optimising it?

  4. THE CLOWN PUPPET

    “; in other words, I then would become obsessed with death nonsense, which is one of the worst and most outrageous forms of all nonsense.”

    As in re-reading each of the Ligotti stories themselves, I have been expecting (constructively dreading?) this ‘visit’ or visitation, maybe because I have read this classic gothic-baroque story before and knew it was coming, the visit of the chilling and unforgettable (I have now proved that it is unforgettable!) clown puppet, who arrives this time when the narrator is working for a migrant called Mr Vizniak in a medicine shop. His version of the Medicine Shop Visitation following all his.previous recurrent Workplace Visitations, as this is my version of the Clown Puppet’s root or literary source Clown Puppet Visitation, the story itself as my visitor.
    And I am again imbued by its swaddling, hypnotic, obsessive ‘nonsenses’, those cries of curmudgeonly affront as well as cries of despair under the expletive ‘Nonsense!’, each nonsense its own special form of visitation. No longer, for me, a new nonsense but now become an old and seasoned nonsense. And my recognition of the clown puppet’s ‘motions’, explicitly its manipulated strings (but manipulated by whom or what?), but also now its Motions representing Ligotti’s trademark Scatology of Eschatology, and Mr. Visniak’s lavatory where I have spent more and more time the older I have become!
    I sense that this chilling story is capable of making itself personal or bespoke to each and every reader. Each of us with our own version of nonsense.

  5. THE RED TOWER

    An amorphously ruined factory with an autonomous sense of its own growth and decay, possibly with more empirical intent than the author himself who ostensibly created this semi-spiritual Heath Robinson architectural-contraptive interface between its own pale, then red, colour of conscious suffusion and the interminable grey territory that surrounds it, at first like an Amazon unit of outgrowth (selling dire novelty goods, dire but scintillatingly described by the text), an Amazon corporation with delivery points in every corner of the world, then like its own ‘birthing graves’ (an anti-natalist concept?) developing within the slowly ratcheting lower levels of thriving production in contrast with its visible decaying upper levels. Selling living parts of itself as hyper-organisms from nemonymous gravestones?
    This is RUMOUR made tangible for the first time in literature, I guess, paradoxically demonstrating as well as dispersing the ‘monumental tedium’ of existence. It is a core Ligottian text that is itself organically amorphous. Nothing can do justice to its suppurating self-awareness as a living autonomous text as well as its narrator’s disingenuous self-negation in being allowed even to talk about it at all.
    Corporate as the promised apotheosis of the Corporeal. Work now done?

  6. DEFORMATIONS

    MY CASE FOR RETRIBUTIVE ACTION

    A man who has crossed the border to a tedious storefront office job (reminding me of the paperwork job involved in Kurosawa’s film Ikiru), a branch of their corporateness owned by Quine Organisation, Q. ORG – a job arranged by his doctor on the other side of the border, the same doctor who also deals with an unknown ‘you’ that the man addresses as he tells of the worker Hatcher he has replaced, and the deadpan absurdities of the residual staff and their rivalries, their lunch spots and unaccountable lack of understanding, the smell of smoke or pickle (the store used to be a pickle shop) that gets into the paperwork, and whether this job is part of an experiment on the protagonist or simply as a gratuitous conduit for a dark vision of arachnid transmogrification, a vision that will surely turn YOUR dreams into nightmares. As reviewer I am immune or just allowing my own nightmares to vanish into the text that has been provided for them.

    Reading Ligotti is its own experiment. An experiment where conduits can work both ways, I have found. On this point, I have a conviction that this story title should not have ‘retributive’ in it but ‘redistributive’, and that the former is a typo of the latter. The case for the redistribution of many things including phobias, and also including the fact that ‘nothing is unendurable’ is not a fact at all.
    (This book is not without mistyped titles, as I have just looked ahead in this Durtro edition and found that the next story is headed in stylishly large print: ‘Our Temporary Superivsor’. The Supervisor of this book must have been on sick leave the day that title was print-set, I guess.)

  7. OUR TEMPORARY SUPERVISOR

    On the face of it, a more straightforward employment satire – straightforward but intriguing by means of not only Kafkaesque undercurrents but also a new source of generic Ligottian human-like shapes behind the temporary supervisor’s frosted glass office door, time-and-motion work morphed by those shapes seeming to become Lovecraftian, all taking place in the previous story’s Q. ORG scenario beyond the border, full of medications and brainwashing, as the Orwellian employees compare each other’s performances at fitting metal pieces together at the Assembly Blocks…
    The main protagonist strives to fulfil himself in such circumstances. A compelling character study.

    I feel that I myself am now working at a similar Ligottian coalface of real-time dreamcatching, day and night trying to deploy his stories’ strengths, their dreams and visions, in my seemingly endless work since I started a few weeks ago with THE FROLIC onward till now. I look to the side and see others also chipping away at the soft and hard sections of the various texts, and I am hoping I don’t flag and can keep up with the onset of higher forces at work following the Penguin Classics takeover of certain aspects of this endeavour.
    (I hope, too, that I don’t fall short of what is needed of me or get into such a state as this co-worker’s grappling with such texts, plastic cutlery et al.)

  8. IN A FOREIGN TOWN, IN A FOREIGN LAND

    A quarptych of tales. (My expression not the story’s.)

    His Shadow Shall Rise to a Higher House

    Indeed with that new momentous book last month, Ligotti’s own shadow, too.

    “…Klatt was there holding forth on the subject of his relationship to Ascrobius, whom he now called his ‘patient.'”

    Like the previous two stories, we are across the border or near a border, as this town, full of ‘extraordinary gossip’ or ‘twilight talk’, literally takes shape within the artfully rarefied texture of the words on Durtro’s black-edged pages. These border stories, especially this one, remind me of an inversion of today’s Schengen Zone, an inversion of Jungianism, with its ‘uncreations’ summoning up, in a premonitory fashion when this story was first published, today’s false states and borderless wars. Just read it and see. The description on page 121 itself reminds me of a rarefied version of Brussels in the news today (if anyone will be able to remember when they read this what was happening to Brussels today!)…

    The characters of the ‘Ascrobius’ and the ‘charlatan Dr. Klatt’ also summon up for me a recognisable mutation (a mutation physically like the ‘terrors of Ascrobius’) of the developed relationship, since this story was published, of, today, a new Ascrobius and YellowJester (for those of us in the know), also striated through with the ‘extraordinary gossip’, ‘meddling’, ‘annulment’ and the concepts of missing graves, anonymous graves (cf The Red Tower), uncreated graves…

  9. The Bells Will Sound Forever

    “deliriously preposterous”

    Ligotti’s skill is indeed to combine the delirious, in its sense of sickness, with preposterousness, adding the hint that ‘deliriously’ can be a positive adverb as well as a negative one. The latter negative aspect would entail a fevered delirium, the results of which might be mentally stimulating on the temporary surface while embedded as inimical to body and sanity. This second border-town story in this quaptych (CAN there be a four-sided painting that opens up like a diptych or triptych?) reprises brothel-keeper Mrs Glimm (cf Crumm) from the first one, who is now in polarised rivalry across the town with Mrs Pyk (Pyk echoing ptych?) who runs a boarding-house that, in common with many houses in Ligotti, seems to entail an akimbo building akin to an extended Bungalow House [cf in this country of mine the Chalet Bungalow wherein I have lived since 1995] where bedrooms are so close to the roof they become creepy attics, containing strange artefacts, here the eponymous bells of a type of YellowJester suit. QH Crumm, a commercial agent, in business like the two women, tells the narrator all this in a park and imparts a spooky Roald Dahl type tale where he stays with Mrs Pyk, someone like an earlier Ligotti character, with a mannequin’s or wooden hand, that seems to entail Crumm donning the jingly-jangly jester suit and become a sort of extension of that hand, like the inferred bungalow house’s roof rooms. I am left wondering whether flesh and wood need not cross borders to become a single entity? Enemies, too, like Glimm and Pyk? (Syria and Iraq blending as a single BEING from IS-IS?) In a Foreign Town, In a Foreign Land.

  10. A Soft Voice Whispers Nothing

    The start of this story expands on and confirms, fortuitously, what I was saying about ‘delirious’ above. And a soft voice as a telling contrast to the jester’s bells.
    I sense this third portrait of the border town is a core Ligottian work, introducing Dr. Zirk as a more explicit, if softly-voiced, mentor from ‘The Night School’ and prefiguring later CATHRianism… It has some extremely deep-textured emotions in “that remote and desolate place.” As if this town is CATHRIANISM’s birthplace like a wintry Bethlehem. TS Eliot’s “A cold coming we had of it.”
    “To make an end of it, little puppet, in your own way”. And there are many inferred ligotti or knots, like loops, nooses, tangled strings (as CATHRIANISM’s version of crucifixion?) with more accoutrements of this ‘unfaith’, more skewed houses whose business-heavy end is the roof, plus a solitary lackadaisical egg-shaped clown and a ‘thrumming’ parade, a wooden cage with top-unfastened bars hanging the ‘unchurchly’ items (of a new Ecclesiatica?), another metaphysical Swiftian Modest Proposal prefiguring The Spectral Link, and the wonderful wonderful concept of the ‘architectural moan’. And, for me, the ultimate nemonymity: “…nothing is more enticing, nothing more vitally idiotic, than our desire to have a name — even if it is the name of a stupid little puppet — and to hold on to this name throughout the long ordeal of our lives as if we hold on to it forever.”
    Ironically, it is a woman as potential mother, the one possibly named Mrs Glimm – ultimately not recognised by that name but by the ‘gaudy rings’ on a hand – who represents this story’s Pilate? A story that is imbued and ends with a darkly and deliriously musical ‘dying fall’.

  11. When You Hear The Singing, You Will Know It Is Time

    “…a bizarre and jagged conglomerate of massive architectural proportions, with peaked roofs and soaring chimneys or towers visibly swaying and audibly moaning even in the calm of an early summer twilight.”

    The fourth story, or a coda to this internal fiction set, featuring the border town, here where you will die by its means or by your own hand – or you may never leave even if you never die?
    A new Doctor called Pell, but we never really know Who the next Doctor will be in Ligotti, talks of a Reverend Cork, a Preacher either from Truman Capote or retrocausally from King’s Revival, together with ‘threshold-signs’ worthy of the Dark Tower musical todash of jingle bells and soft voices and here, now, a deeper droning garbled preaching speech like the erstwhile architecture moan, thresholds like oubliettes beneath the lowest floor in the house in contrast to the earlier roof attics, this particular basement oubliette (oubliette being my word, not the story’s) beneath what the narrator appropriately sees as a leathery trapdoor. And Mrs Glimm, now seen as ‘idiot-hag’, the common denominator of this internal fiction-set, as a dark catalyst like Mrs Rinaldi.
    A coda, yes, a todash coda, echoing endlessly wherever you happen to read this quaptych of a fiction-set.
    A CATHRian-Catholic blend of communion wine left in an attic with bits of cork floating in it. An oubliette you can never forget. Thrumming, crummy, glimmy yellowmanker of a parade led by the eggman. And a text mentally overlapping its borders. A work you can say anything about with conviction.
    On the day the Turks shot down a Russian jet across an uncertain or duplicitous border.

  12. Re: Teatro Grottesco – the Story by Ligotti
    “TEATRO STUFF” (a set phrase in this story) is SO TARTUFFE!
    (‘Tartuffe’, as you know, is a play by Moliere – subtitled the impostor or the hypocrite)

    • THE DAMAGED AND THE DISEASED

      TEATRO GROTTESCO (the story)

      “Thus it was not necessary, at this point in my plan, to have actually succeeded in making my prose writings into an anti-Teatro phenomenon. I simply had to make it known, falsely, that I had done so.”

      Now, having re-read this story in full, I can seen why I wanted to jump in straightaway with that reference above about Tartuffe, this story of Teatro Stuff — with that ‘falsely’ as just one example — being utterly so Tartuffe throughout.

      This is an amazing story that any reader of weird literature would deem seminal, dealing with a writer of ‘nihilistic prose writings’, as it does, arriving eventually at a Möbius strip of negation upon negation via a vision of such disturbing, yet absurd or humorous, force. I can only scratch its surface here.

      A story about avant garde or transgressive art that is something I have always been interested in as well as practising since the 1960s, an art cinema theatre, a movement like Zeroism that negates itself by being itself, a motley visceral art of crime hitmen or small men with mittens or paws or wrongly numbered fingers (out of Twin Peaks?), a photographer whose wink is his camera, a madness that both intoxicates and menaces our minds, Teatro stuff as an entrainment of entertainment or a business corporation that infects many memes, with the protagonistic prose-writer’s own intestinal disease combined with the machinations of delirium that I mentioned earlier in my review of this book, while referring, in a premonitory fashion, to the recent news that anti-biotics will no longer work but will turn upon us with their own viciousness, plus more Doctors, Zick and Groddeck…

      And Ligotti’s ‘soft black stars’ that I now see for the first time as an expression denoting the essential ligotti (knots now called soft black stars) that I discovered a few years ago, knots or ligotti now acronymised as “S.B.S.”, here illuminating even my own confusion about this writer’s nihilistic prose writings.

      Written with the panache and chutzpah that only this blend of the mentally depressed and physically delirious can manage.

      And much much more that has taught me that nobody can outdo Ligotti.

      “And I, I boasted, had allowed my mind to be overwhelmed by all manner of Teatro stuff, while also managing to use this experience as material for my prose writings. ‘This,’ I practically shouted one day at Des…”

  13. GAS STREET CARNIVALS

    “Beside the miniature merry-go-round, which never moved an inch and always stood dark and silent in a remote rural landscape, there would be a miniature Ferris wheel (no taller than a bungalow-style house, Quisser said),…”

    Whilst the previous Teatro stuff was central to the plot, the stuff depicting the writer of nihilistic stories, his grappling with serial negations as well as with his stomach trouble, here the same writer presumably with the same stomach ailment grappling with almost a doppelgänger, between whom and whom we ask which was the culprit of negating a woman artist and her paintings in the Crimson Cabaret, which of them drank mint tea, which wine, who told of the ‘gas service carnivals’ – and who faced the wiles of art-magic as well as the illuminati and esoteric scientists?

    But, for me, Sideshow Des, the glory of this story is not this time in all that writerly teatro stuff, but in the sheer vision of the gas street carnivals themselves, these carnivals in isolation – so haunting, so darkly and delectably Aickman-like, the seedy backdrops as dowdy entertainment, backdrops as appendages to the gas stations.

    The miniature, the freakish and the desolate, so real, so naggingly true, so brilliantly conjured up, that I feel I am the boy who grew up to remember these carnivals, even if they never existed at all.

    Dr. Fingers et al.
    All of us, myself included, part of “a crowd of deluded no-talents–“, the art critic and literary critics in obeisance to the source artist or author, those principals of deposit who in turn bow, in the half light, to the interested reader that is you.

    “…the frayed electrical cords that trailed off from the base of each lamp and, by means of several extension cords, ultimately found a source of power at the gas station,…”

  14. chaletTHE BUNGALOW HOUSE

    “The bungalow house was built with a fireplace, I said to myself in the darkness, thinking how long it had been since anyone had made use of this fireplace….”

    That is a photo of my own bungalow house (called a chalet bungalow in UK), a photo taken a few years ago when it was about to undergo a special plan of treatment. My wife and I moved into this house in March 1995, i.e. the same year as I understand ‘The Bungalow House’ was first published in ‘The Urbanite’ (to which magazine I was also submitting, without success, stories at that time.)
    My version of the bungalow house still has a disused fireplace in the living room. There the similarities stop? I hope so, but I have recorded many versions of my voice reading aloud or sub-vocalising items of my own fiction, and created many on-line happenings of art from this hub! I do sense a link with this story, a spectral link?
    “…especially on late November afternoons.”
    I also sense this story’s prevailing anxiety as to the entropy of any house where one lives and for which one is responsible for its upkeep, here including the growing archetype of the bungalow house when transposed into verminous dreams.
    The story itself echoes the art magic and icy bleakness of previous stories, also the blurring of the narrator and his double-crossing doppelgänger, the audiotape as a sub-vocalising template of meaninglessness and meaning. Another woman catalyst, this one called Dalha who is a gallery’s commercial broker of such art magic. Not only art magic concerning the bungalow house but also a derelict factory and a bus shelter where the doppelgänger is once glimpsed. Plus a Kingian type library where the protagonist works near to the gallery that Dhala keeps. Another lavatory in that gallery, too, his own lavatory not being suitable for certain aspects of his relief.
    “Why should you care what his name is? Why should I?”
    The story is a performance piece you will never forget. The Aesthetics of a performance as opposed to the ownership of an artefact. A dichotomy that is the essence of this whole weird tunnelling into your mind’s structure. The apotheosis of paranoia and self-contradiction as visualised through such Aesthetics. Or just silhouettes and glimpses.

    “…the foul and crummy delights of a universe where everything had been reduced to three stark principles: first, that there was nowhere for you to go; second, that there was nothing for you to do; and third, that there was no one for you to know.”

  15. SEVERINI

    “There are two faces which must never confront each other.”

    I have never met or even privately corresponded with the author of this book, as if that has always been meant to be. i know that I am at best a literary sideshowman and like the disciples of SEVERINI in this story. But I can’t help thinking that illness – here “belly sickness” or “cancerous matter” – is a combining force, those potential doppelgängers in the previous two stories now melding as one in tune with inimical “body changes” or in some diseased spirituality of Aesthetics, a museum of imaginary exhibits or of real sculptures, a marshland hermit called Severini in a shack who wants you to be invited as a kindred spirit, the earlier mention in my Ligotti reviews of the CATHRian-Catholic “pool of snakes” (cf Mauriac’s NOEUD or Knot of Snakes)…
    On a different level, this is a rarefied texture of words building on Ligotti’s Art of Delirium (here as ‘tropical landscape” and “common sewer”), his Scatology of Eschatology, sleeptalking…
    A yearning to become not only kindred spirits but also “sympathetic organisms” – as a guard against this book’s dark truth represented by its backcover emblem of the words “the nightmare of the Organism” originally used in this important story?
    Dysentery and Prostate (Antistate?) cancer as just another pair of “sympathetic organisms”? Who knows? The answer may be in another emblem of words in this story: “The way into the nightmare is the way out.” The knot of knots.

    *

    Scattered throughout this edition of TEATRO GROTTESCO is this symbol as a break-marker. It seems to be something poised to tie itself into a knot – or a knot that has already been untied?
    image

  16. THE SHADOW, THE DARKNESS

    “Words are a total obfuscation of the most basic fact of existence, the very conspiracy against the human race…”

    Where does one start with this large work? With my own take on the TSALAL earlier in these Ligotti reviews HERE (‘La La La La La, I’m not going to listen to you. La La La La…Until the LAST LA’)?

    The crucial sculptures by the ‘devious ‘ or ‘dubious’ “artistic visionary Reiner Grossvogel” – sculptures synchronously illuminatory of the very recent HPL bust WFA Award controversial Aesthetic war of political (in)correctness – were all entitled TSALAL.

    But that is only one aside among many asides I could summon up regarding this major fiction-philosophical work, a work that ranges from hypnotically obsessive repetitions of its stock phrases (in tune with minimalist Morton Feldman music) to what I see as the Dada or Zeroist happening embodied in gallery shows, embodied by words about death, human ambition / despair and scatological (results of belly illness) / eschatological conspiracies, bodily ailments as intellectual property…and much more.

    Grossvogel’s reluctant disciples (more reluctant than those of Severini) gather in an unsatisfactory diner (“intestinal discomfort which might have been attributed to the poor quality of the coffee and donuts”) in a mutated and decaying Twin Peaks township called Crampton. They await the artist and we readers are word-swaddled in thoughts about his original storefront gallery exhibit showings, his own self-contradictions as to failure and success, his stays in an unsatisfactory hospital with his intestinal trouble, all in interface with the actual writer of the still unwritten CATHR as one of this story’s characters.

    “A metaphysical swindle”, “metamorphic recovery”, “pervasive shadow”, “all-moving-darkness”, “a fog of delirious and sometimes lurid gossip and speculation”, a traveller on buslines, not so much “the artist who has failed” but “a body that has succeeded”, listening to his all pervasive “lecture or fantasy monologue”…

    But who is the “one man artistic and philosophical freakshow”?
    Grossvogel himself or the then would-be CATHR writer or the real-time dreamcatcher? Reading this story does make the reader paradoxically feel more self-important than is warranted. This is by having transcended the word-nihilism in actually buying the book within which it is expressed! The ‘pulling and tugging’ of triggers that are either tangled puppet-strings or ultimately imaginary internal synapses of nothing but “nonsense and dreams”. La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la…

    • The book ends with the following poems over some 50 pages. I have nothing to add to my 2008 review of them towards the end of the page HERE, other than to emphasise my then closing comment: “Reading between the lines: a cancer that suffers its own cancer.”

      DEAD DREAMS

      THINGS THEY WILL NEVER TELL YOU
      What Good is Your Head?
      What Happens to Faces
      What Becomes of the Body
      It’s Okay, It’s All Right
      There Is Nothing to Know
      Those Were Not the Days
      Any Place But Here, Any Time But Now
      There Is Nothing to Do
      Skull Crushing
      Insanity and Nothingness
      From Nothing to Blackness
      The Sellers
      And Aren’t You Glad

      THIS DEGENERATE LITTLE TOWN
      Ten poems: I – X

      ENVOI

      end

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