D. B. DEVILLIERS

Poetry

Month: December, 2021

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…

562 Wyoming Ave, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Mood Disorder, Pt. II

Now I shall spy on beauty as none has
spied on it yet. Now I shall speak of love
as none have before. I shall speak of pain
reflected in the rear-view, drawing blood
from the neck to precipitate the rush,
the icy twinge at the back of the throat.
Now I shall show you pain beyond compare—
stare into my bloodshot eyes and I’ll stare
into yours and our irises blacken
muscles of the jawline clench and teeth crack.
Sunrise sunset several sudden years pass.
At some point, you left. Leaves died on the trees.
There was an equinox. The moon waned small.
It felt like the darkest night of the fall.
But it was four PM and sunny skies
belied the black intention.
Now I shall speak of hypothermia
now I shall speak of shock paddles and I
shall speak of cardio-pulmonary
resuscitation and ambulance rides
no one remembers. Psychiatric wards,
puzzled MDs, resilient nurses, doors
with knobs equipped with conical steel shrouds
to shrug off any permanent attempts
at checking out. There was another man
who told me late one night that he would die
by his own hand. Just a matter of time.
Maybe he did. I don’t recall his name.
I met his family. Nice enough people.
Sometimes there’s just no reason for it all.
There was another—my roommate named Gabe.
His I remember. One evening we sang
a punk song, top of our lungs, down the hall.
A little brightness til they made us stop.
He hanged himself from a tree that next fall.
Sometimes there’s just no reason for it all.

Now I shall spy on beauty as none has
conceived before. Nearly a decade’s passed.
I sit here with a pencil, yet again
residing in an institution and
I contemplate the swift passage of sand
right through the spindly hourglass of my hand.
It frequently feels like nothing has changed.
Until we wake up in a different state
three inches shorter, half a century gone
a couple kids with kids and rulered lawns
a liver-spotted visage, pitted, loose
arthritic fingers fumbling at the noose
they never tied. The end result belied
our best intentions. Maybe someone cried.
I did. I still do. Maybe always will.
I love you. I love you. I just have to.
When you’re decades gone, I hope I still do.
******* I knew you. Maybe you knew
me too. It’s hard to say. Can anyone
know anyone at all? I surely hope
perhaps against all hope that this is true.
And at least I know to whom I shall speak
in graphite silence. At least I know who
can see my screaming soul through time and space
and ghostly rest your head against my arm
and whisper back to me words I once knew
and I’ll fade.
Sometimes there’s just no reason for it all
but sometimes…