D. B. DEVILLIERS

Poetry

Pennsylvania

I drive
past your
house from time to
time

other people drive
past
too
and I want to tell them
someone lived there
I want them to know:
a person
used to
live there

everyone should know.

Dustin Always Was And Still Remains Staunchly Anti-Death, Ideologically-Speaking

here’s what you have to do:
it’s ok, just here’s what you have to do:

you just have to do it perfectly
every single time
and you have to do it all day every day
and you have to do it perfectly every
single time
all you have to do is, and it’s easy, just
never fuck up, not even once, you just
can’t fuck up, not in the smallest way, not
once, and you have to do it
every single day
all of the time
forever
really, it’s easy, and the stakes aren’t that
high if you do end up fucking up
just one time in some tiny way
because then it’s not your problem anymore
because

it’s ok when the curtain rolls it’s ok baby it’s
ok you won’t be there to hurt anymore the
stakes aren’t that high and unfortunately
they’ll have to put you in the dirt but
that won’t really be you anymore you
won’t meaningfully meet the worms and
with your lengthening nails won’t leave
any sad little scratches and you’ll get to
wear the dress you wanted because they’ll
cover your arms with foundation and no
one will see and the
stakes aren’t that high they aren’t
that high it’s only everything my love we
only stand to lose everything it isn’t
anything at all when the light is gone the
problem is not your problem anymore
there is no you there is no me there is no
poetry no words no name no stakes to
wager on no game no love to lose no life
no hope no life no love no
pain no pain
no

you only have to do it
every single day
forever

it’s nothing at all

Interrogative: what the fuck?

I have questions
one of them is how the fuck can I
feel so lonely surrounded by people who
love me
one of them is how the fuck can
anyone love me
I have questions
one of them is how the fuck does a 26-
year old woman die during childbirth in the
year of our lord 2021 and why
wasn’t I nice to her
why wasn’t I nice to a lot of people
why did I deliberately set out to hurt people
is it because I was good at it? and isn’t talent
its own miserable expectation
so be careful what you get good at huh

why is it that when I speak the words don’t
even come close
why at the tip of a hundred million years of
trial and error and strife and sex and death and war and peace and everything at the
vanguard of a five billion year march into
oblivion I have to sit here and try with
quite literally everything I have to not put a
pistol in my mouth, to not intravenously
narcotize myself into
into what
into what
I have questions
what the fuck is that kid gonna think
what will his grandma tell him that he
killed her
or maybe that god did
or she’ll just cry, I would
I have questions
why do I care

I have a question
how couldn’t I?

It is incumbent upon a human being to care
you just have to

I’m Dustin and I’m a lot of things.
I want to be kinder.
Thanks for letting me share.

There’s Some Kinda Dream To Herald The Trailing Edge Of The Year Here, And There’s Beauty Somewhere Else

there are things I want
there are things I need
there are things that overlap
there are things I can’t do
there are things I can
there are things that overlap

I’m standing at the edge of something
there were conversations I thought I
would remember
there were dreams I had
here’s one:
I’m standing at the edge of something or
someone or somewhere
the air is electric with anticipation
I walk but I do not move, rather
the ground moves
there is a great white light, a great heat
then the sound and fury and my
biology becomes chemistry and my
chemistry becomes physics
that’s how carbon behaves in the presence of
vast quantities of energy it’s all
just math in the end, rules things follow
particles under pressure and heat
and I wake up
and it’s dark outside still
I take a piss and forget the dream
which will recur.

there is so much beauty in the world
it is astonishing and overwhelming to behold
there is so much worth staying alive for
I’m learning to really believe it
really believe it
the sharp earnest edge of my hope:
there is love in the world and it sounds like
text me when you get home
it sounds like merry christmas happy new
year
there is love in the world and it sounds like
I love you
it sounds like everything
and it doesn’t have to be so fucking awful
anymore
it doesn’t have to be like that

let me believe it christ please let me
believe in it let me please I want to
believe that I can do this thing and I
don’t have to go I don’t want to go please don’t
make me make myself go please
please
I am going to stay
I am going to stay

that’s the dream.

The Impossible and Extraordinary Density of an Ordinary Life

you can smoke another cigarette
you can make a cup of coffee
you can make dinner you can
send and receive text messages you can
stare at a blank screen and you can
be intimidated by its potential

people fight entire secret wars nowadays
behind screens
people bomb real live people to death from
behind screens
people do things
some people really do things
a man in a factory on the other side of the
country built my boots
a woman in a factory on the other side of the
world ran an injection-molding machine
which cast the set which bore the
shot that killed me
and the timeline split

the timeline is constantly split
between 0 and 1 are an infinite number of
points and you are one of them
and I am one of them
and between us a smaller infinite
number of points
and between each two of them a
smaller infinite number of points
and then there you are again and there I
am again
we are somehow between ourselves
and the infinitely small infinitely large gulf
splits in loops of loops of cells
interlinked within cells
interlinked
microscopic unions as far down as you or any
god or hack poet can look
and all the way up too
how could you not be terrified I am
fucking terrified I am exhilarated at the
wonderful terrifying possibility of the tiny
world we both inhabit and comprise

most things are not important to me
most things mean nothing to me
but there are exceptions
I am not dead

somewhere out there is a universe in which
everything is the same except I am
constantly on fire
and somewhere else I am in love with
love and we have a nice family and
happy children unhaunted by
natured and nurtured demons
in a universe orbiting the nucleus of an
atom at the graphite tip
of a pencil.

Ceramic Angels

I read a news article
it said: parents and
children
came and placed
ceramic angels and stuffed
animals along the barbed-
wire fence

it said: one white teddy
bear held a heart that
said: “besos y abrazos”

it said the police lost the
boots they kicked the kid to
death with

it said the child’s father
had decapitated him
after he had killed
him

it said:
investigators also found a rolled-
up yellow sweatshirt soaked with
blood
and a blood-
stained blue nylon
wallet containing the victim’s
photograph
a note on the back of the photo said,

“from big brother to little brother.”
it said he had been decapitated

it said parents and
children came all day
and placed ceramic angels
along the
barbed-wire
fence.

I am not a good poet

my suffering is not beautiful
my victories are few and infrequently worth describing
by and large my broken mind produces only
white noise however deafening and my
words are flat
my pain is not unique
it is routine and my dreams are small
the aching void of my nightmare is well-
lighted and absent of obstacle
tiled endlessly off-white and distances
demarcated with pocket litter cast off by
other pedestrian passers-by
built section by modular section in factories
trucked across the graying interstate
placed by a child’s toy in my diorama world
the sun a flashlight god shakes when it
flickers and the day starts when the
stars die
distance interdicts even the furious light of
elemental fusion so what could I hope to
score against it
I rage against the aching void
an awkward biological accident
screaming at the sky

I miss you
I miss you

Esmeralda On The Lake

There was an interview of sorts and I
was asked if I might not
be willing to do something
harder than anything I could possibly
imagine.
It was made clear to me that the
task I would undertake was difficult beyond
reckoning and so
I guess I can’t say I didn’t know what
I was signing on for
and in a spasm of hubris I said yes
I was willing to be born

something terrible is going to happen
something terrible is happening here
I can feel it in the marrow of my bones
I can feel it in my failing kidneys and my
larger than life liver and my inflamed
pancreas and in the structures of the
brain dedicated to production of
certain key neurotransmitters
and the ones awfully affected by their absence

the bullet destroys the structures of the
brain which are responsible for
the bullet destroys the structures of the
brain which take in sensory stimuli such as
pain and sound and so you won’t even
hear the bullet which destroys the
structures of the brain which failed to
function adequately such that
you might have foregone the
bullet destroys the structures of the
brain which might have wanted to keep
on but that fucking screaming and the
straw goes up the nose and the bottle
inverts and don’t worry your sister called an
ambulance so not tonight
not that you wanted it tonight

something terrible is going to happen

wake up to the fluorescent light like an atomic blast
briefly wish it really was one
ok so that happened, that was something that happened
hello world good morning here comes Dustin clawing back into consciousness you tried your
best but here I am still kicking like a
motherfuck

I wrote most of this poem a while ago
I was very unhappy.
I then proceeded to suffer a lot and fight
a lot and then I went ahead tonight and
finished the poem.
Bullet never came.
I’m approximating happier.

Dustin Contemplates The Stars, You

you poke holes in the night sky with your
eyes and the light comes through
you poke holes in my soul and that’s how the
light comes through
you contain within your starcrossed self at least
the entire universe

I am not capable of interstellar travel

all I have are words.

A Lot Of Things Had To Happen For This To Happen

there is a hand to turn back time
there is a light to wink into and
out of existence
walled up both sides by eternity
and maybe someplace far away or
long ago or far ahead the
electrons took on a different configuration
and maybe one humid june night maybe the
narcan hit ineffective and maybe I
maybe the sun exploded maybe the
Russians launched a hot happy accident and
maybe a light winked out
a child lost his first love down the
garbage disposal a bird brought down an
airliner and in the blood bloom and
respiratory depression one night I died

someplace else a long time ago I wrote from
the other side of this page and when I
came to, I couldn’t remember
and the page was still white

it might take a thousand years
and a thousand years ago an alcoholic monk
scarred up his parchment and wondered
and a thousand years later an
alcoholic truck driver scarred up his arm
and wondered

answer came and went
both forgot
one died, and the other…