Author Topic: Three Things They Will Never Tell You  (Read 1042 times)

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Kaspar Hauser

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Three Things They Will Never Tell You
« on: June 21, 2020, 05:59:12 pm »
Found on German site via ligotti.netTHREE THINGS THEY WILL NEVER TELL YOU  (A Series Of Poems By Thomas Ligotti)


WHAT GOOD IS YOUR HEAD?

The mysteries of a nightmare
or the ill magic of hallucinations
or even the way you are
conditioned to react
to an image of the moon
delivered straight into your eyes -
Why do they hide
what these things really are
and how they operate?
Why do they only answer
in such confused and conflicting terms?

The reason is simple.
Because who knows what might happen
if you could understand
the whining of nightmare-dogs
in your dreams
or the voices in your head
that never tell you
anything you want to hear
not to mention why you feel
a certain way
when images invade your eyes
and intrude upon the brain
that floats in the darkness
inside your head?

What would happen
if you knew what
these things really are
and how they operate -
What would happen to you
as a person who understands
what it means to have a head?

With this knowledge
you certainly might decide
to take your head right off
and just sit quietly in the dark
of your new headlessness.

© Thomas Ligotti




WHAT HAPPENS TO FACES

A tear in the face
it was as if you were dreaming
because they never said a word
and you were hiding
in a place
with no one around
when a tear in the face
and all the things
that came out
put an end to the world
that you always thought you knew.

And as if you were dreaming
a tear in the face
made you awake in a darkness
unlike any you have ever seen.

They could easily tell you
and then say you were dreaming
about a tear in the face
of a world in a mirror
where faces are glass
and are smooth
and are shining
till the glass starts to crack
all the faces are broken
and their scars are the shadows
that you always knew were there.

And as if you were dreaming
a tear in the face
was the last thing
and the worst that you ever saw.

They never will speak
even when you are dreaming
about a tear in the face
of a face that is made
of all the flesh that is grown
like a world in the body
that bursts forth from the darkness
shimmering in the darkness
or quivering for just a moment
in the face of a face
that will always be unknown.

But it was all so much dreaming
you finally see
it was just so much dreaming
you finally know -
a tear in the face
they would have to tell something
about something like that...
about a tear in the face.

© Thomas Ligotti




WHAT BECOMES OF THE BODY

A little black box
they can hide
in the darkness
where it can never be found
and opened to you eyes
not because they are kind
or because they are wise
but only because...

A little black box
they can hide
in the darkness
is just the right thing
to keep you forever guessing
what they never would tell you
not that they are really concerned
you ever might find...

That little black box
and take out like toys
what is contained inside
and unearth all their secrets
such as how they deceive you
till the death of your body
and make you believe
that there actually might be
a little black box
that they hide in the darkness.

© Thomas Ligotti
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Kaspar Hauser

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Vastarien and the forbidden book theme
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2020, 06:03:52 pm »
In the Humor in Horror thread, I mention Vastarien: A Literary Journal

It's home is at https://grimscribepress.com/

From their Home Page:

A source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas

Vastarien. : The forbidden tome. The impossible otherworld. A textual entryway into ...

...   a place where everything was transfixed in the order of the unreal. . . . Each passage he entered in the book both enchanted and appalled him with images and incidents so freakish and chaotic that his usual sense of these terms disintegrated along with everything else. Rampant oddity seemed to be the rule of the realm; imperfection became the source of the miraculous — wonders of deformity and marvels of miscreation. There was horror, undoubtedly. But it was a horror uncompromised by any feeling of lost joy or thwarted redemption; rather, it was a deliverance by damnation. And if Vastarien was a nightmare, it was a nightmare transformed in spirit by the utter absence of refuge: nightmare made normal.

Our name is drawn from Thomas Ligotti’s classic story of the same title (quoted above), which S. T. Joshi has characterized as “Ligotti’s most searching exploration of the forbidden book theme.”

Our interests include but are not limited to the following subjects:
  • Supernatural horror (both fiction and film)
  • Philosophical pessimism
  • Gnosticism
  • Buddhism
  • Nihilism
  • Surrealism
  • Decadent and fin de siècle literature
  • Pessimistic and morbid poetry (Trakl, Thomson, Brennan, Leopardi, Larkin, Wiloch, Barnitz, etc.)
  • Aberrant psychology (depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, anhedonia, depressive realism, etc.)
  • Euthanasia/Right to Die
  • Horror in the visual arts
  • Antinatalism
  • L’école belge de l’étrange
  • Corporate degradation
  • The architecture and topography of Detroit and its suburbs
  • Horror and pessimism as it relates to most any field (geography, psychology, astronomy, music, film, etc.—kind of a catchall category)
  • Any crossovers or hybrids of these categories/writers
________________________________________________________________
Which book is the story, Vastarien, contained in?  Is it not in The Nightmare Factory?   I would not go trying to hunt that book down ... why do we have such expensive taste?   It is because we are not of the masses, and that which we are drawn to is not mass produced. 

Vastarien was first published in Crypt of Cthulhu #48 (1987).   No legal online versions found.

According to The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (http://www.isfdb.org/), Vastarien can be found in Songs of a Dead Dreamer, The Nightmare Factory, The New Lovecraft Circle, Teatro Grottesco, The Shadow at the Bottom of the World, American Supernatural Tales, Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe; and yet, I have a copy of Teatro Grottesco, and while it certainly does have "Purity" as well as "The Town Manager," there is no Vastarien to be found.   Could it only be in the German Language edition?  That's fucked up, excuse my French.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 10:12:21 am by Sticks and Stones »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

Kaspar Hauser

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Re: Three Things They Will Never Tell You
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2020, 08:09:21 pm »
In the spirit of a textual entryway into ... the forbidden tome ..., I will be keeping track of the subtle transformations of the non-title, as in This song has no title.:

.... fearless meditations on humanity's existential helplessness ...
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

Silenus

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Vastarien (and Georg Trakl)
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 02:11:18 pm »
Wow, what a synthesis of topics in this Vastarien Journal. Since I likely may never possess a copy, it makes me all the more grateful for this little, noncorporate corner of the internet. And again I appreciate the looseness of sorts - we can come and go, pick up old threads, bounce between conversations, or just type for oneself. Little constraints minus those imposed by The Machine, and just general decency.

Well, how about two poems from Georg Trakl:

De Profundis
Quote
A wind is blowing! The green lights

Sing extinguished - large and satiated

The moon fulfils the high hall,

Where no more celebrations sound through.

The ancestral portraits quietly smile

And far-off - their last shadow fell,

The room is sultry with putrefaction,

Arround which ravens mutely move in circles.

A lost sense of past times

Looks from the stony masks,

Pain distorted and empty of existence

Mourning in abandonments.

Sick smells of sunken gardens

Quietly caress the decay -

Like the echo of sobbing words

Quivering over open crypts.

Decay
Quote
There is a stubble field on which a black rain falls.
There is a tree which, brown, stands lonely here.
There is a hissing wind which haunts deserted huts- -
How sad this evening.

Past the village pond
The gentle orphan still gathers scanty ears of corn.
Golden and round her eyes are gazing in the dusk
And her lap awaits the heavenly bridegroom.

Returning home
Shepherds found the sweet body
Decayed in the bramble bush.

A shade I am remote from sombre hamlets.
The silence of God
I drank from the woodland well.

On my forehead cold metal forms.
Spiders look for my heart.
There is a light that fails in my mouth.

At night I found myself upon a heath,
Thick with garbage and the dust of stars.
In the hazel copse
Crystal angels have sounded once more.

"And the strict master Death bids them dance."

Kaspar Hauser

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Re: Three Things They Will Never Tell You
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 11:37:40 pm »
Yes, Silenus, we are a message board that should not be.  I am at long last a lurker at reddit, but not anything too suspect.  It's the only place in town as far as pertinent (obscure technical details) about Kiss Linux.

That list of topics for that literary journal is a poem in itself, many overlaps.  I can see why such a list would lure you toward it.  The theme seems to be, not actually to embrace the nightmare, but at the very least to come to terms with it, to get a good solid grip on it.  My street-real-life characteristics and mannerisms sometimes creep into my written "dissertation".  I've become gruff, technical, and calculating in my "transmissions."  Are we and all animals simply machines?  Without the bread, water, wheat, meat, daily feedings, the technical obsessions would reveal themselves as "the tinkerings of an appendage to the stomach."  That is, the brain's function is to find food  and shelter for the stomach-master-animal-body-Thing-in-Itself, the It.  When this organism-as-a-whole is nurtured, stable, and healthy, then it is free to explore and tinker, but it would only be a matter of days and weeks for lack of the essentials to expose the mental-life's utter dependence upon far graver matters of life and death.

Even the seemingly unrelated topic of obscure operating systems would fit beautifully into this theme.  Becoming mentally intimate with machine processes is eerie territory, me thinks.   :o
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 11:56:12 pm by Sticks and Stones »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~