Ligotti ephemera: “Envoi” from Teatro Grottesco (Durtro Press, 2006)

This is a poem Ligotti published in the original 2006 edition of Teatro Grottesco, published by David Tibet‘s Durtro Press, which is now defunct. It does not appear in in the 2008/2010 edition of the same collection by Virgin Books, nor does it appear in his Death Poems (Bad Moon Press, 2013).


Nothing is for all
in this colony of puppets –
unvisioned in their variety
are the molded shapes,
the many-fashioned
players who do not speak
but only clack their jaws
whenever their faces meet,
saying nothing because
there is nothing to say.

And such a tangle of strings,
with some swaying loose –
pulling just slightly
on the figures in play,
those who have not vanished
from the buckling boards
of a tilted stage –
and some so taut
they incessantly rattle
the heads of all,
as if with vicious design. . . .

To rattle them so cruelly
through every angle,
as if there could be
cruelty in a string
hanging in a blackness
that encloses completely
the little world
of the puppet colony,
where nothing is for all
and all is for nothing.