D. B. DEVILLIERS

Poetry

Category: Poetry

I Wonder How Many Members Of Congress Could Even Spell Fentanyl

I don’t know much about
much, is what I know
I don’t know how to
solve anything
I cannot present a solution
I do not suffer anymore from any
delusions that poetry intersects anywhere
with public policy
and I don’t know if this is poetry or
more the feeble efforts of a deeply
troubled mind to make sense of
what cannot be made sense of.

You died to the best of my knowledge
on April 26 2022

lost his battle, is what they say in
such cases
lost his battle
and isn’t that a nice way to put it
apt, when it killed a hundred thousand people last year
that is an entire war
if war were compressed to just the death
no political aim, no fight, not really
just a dead generation in their bedrooms and
in gas station bathrooms and every single
other place, losing battles, a losing war
but Nicky you didn’t lose any battle
there was no war, no one fought
you were murdered by accident, by
a world that can present no
solution, that cannot regret, that cannot
fucking feel
I can’t pretend there’s any valor or glory or
tragic grandeur anymore
if there were any notion of justice in
this world, any fairness, any love or
decency then no one would have to
think up euphemisms to use in obituaries for an overdose, there would be no pharma
marketing drug names words like an alien
curse upon us all, it’s killing everyone, it’s
killing everyone and what can
we do
I don’t know
I can cry and I don’t
know, I have no solution
and it isn’t getting any better
lost the battle, hell
people follow battles in newspapers
people win and lose elections over battles
but this, this is killing everyone, and maybe
the world at large cares enough to cry
a little
but not enough to present a solution and make it
stop killing my fucking friends
and I get white hot heart pounding angry
and I think about this until I
realize I can do no better either.

there must be something please
it’s too hard
I don’t know how this isn’t the biggest
political issue in the country a
hundred thousand dead in a year it’s so big how
is it even real
I don’t know
I don’t know anything
I can’t parse it

it’s too hard.

All We Ever Wanted (to know) Was Everything

that which does not kill me
might fuck me up irreparably
and maybe that’s real strength
after all a scar is stronger skin
a weld done well is stronger than
the initial casting
but it has to be done well
that’s important, that matters
it has to be done well

or maybe not, I don’t know
I’m not a welder.
I don’t know what I am.
I’m the carbide tooth at the tip of the bit at the
end of the shaft of a drill
spinning down through the ancient world
for purposes beyond me
and surmised only dimly even by the
driller
is he god? I don’t know
would god understand my hopes my
dreams my little anguishes any better than
I do those of the quarks that comprise
subatomic particles?
does a quark dream? I don’t know
I hope so.

I’m prehistoric peat moss buried by a
hundred million tons of time and
pressure burning at the nozzle cone of a
rocket
breaking the pull of the world whose
heat and gravity in the great and utter dark
where it all broke down
the devolution from biology into chemistry
the men came with carbide teeth spinning into the
spinning world and
through machinery and into the light
I was there
and this world
left, briefly
and from a great height maybe
put a picture on a TV screen on April 10 1997
maybe put a ton of TNT in a packed movie theater on December 16 1944
maybe put boots on alien rock on a
famous date
maybe blow apart seventy three
seconds after liftoff maybe
all the work
all the time all the love all the hate
maybe the sum of human sensory experience
could god even understand
could anyone
what is understanding
what does the carbide tooth think? I want to know
what does the crude oil think
where is the driller
where is the rocketeer
I want to know
I have questions

can you see me
can’t you see me
can’t you see how hard I’m trying
can’t you see the fire in my chest I hope to
burn forever
and will the weld hold?
and can a
quark dream?
I bet.
I hope so.

Affirmations

at the jumping off point
that was a long time ago
quietly shivered in the back seat of a broke
down buick and that was
not so long
and my life is beautiful my life is
lovely and you are lovely and can’t we
look past the pockmark scars and the ruined smiles
and the mirror tells me I am
beautiful and I am
lovely
the slow motion implosion of small life is
compelling and tragic, the mirror
says, sneering, and you are beautiful and you are
lovely and my friend the worms in your
face aren’t real, the knife however
is
and that was years ago, years and years ago
I don’t forget
not things like that
only the good things, only the best things
cruel turn of the human mind isn’t it
I can’t forget
and the road we took took us to the place
we got
and I guess I got everything I ever wanted
and where was I
before the shouted promises we thought we
had capacity to mean, before
some things are too awful to even say
the words don’t hold them
but on the other hand, some things are
too wonderful
they explode the words like ships overladen
in a blow
and it all passes into the other
towering capital O
where what, we can at best just guess

where was I in the little spinning world
in its little rutted track around a light that
cannot care and will consume it without
even knowing when it dies
a long time a short cosmic blink away
five and a half light minutes from where
Dustin DeVilliers, 27, Fulfillment Specialist, Sober,
sits in a room and fights with himself
and spins circles
wishing for the right words
where was I in a wish upon a dream
fifteen or twenty years ago

I was here
I speak through the stone and I say,
I was here
and I hear:
it’s ok it’s ok.

I love you.
it’s ok.

If It Isn’t Asking Too Much (It’s Always Too Much)

what a pretty prison I’ve built around myself
what a fortress

blow it to pieces.

An Ode To My Boots

I stand
upon the shell of the living world
and I am young
there are thousands of miles of molten
heat beneath my feet
and above the cold
deep beyond all reckoning
interspersed every hundred billion years every trillion trillion miles with little
specks with big names
arcturus or
andromeda—
they are old
and there are little specks with little names
like Dustin
I am young.

I wonder why I write about death so much.
I wonder why I think about it so much.
I posed this question and a good friend of mine
suggested I write about my boots
and I said, I do love them
I’m going to do that:

they are sturdy and well-cared-for
they were expensive and they were worth it
when the sun comes around I plan to wear them up mountains
and my summitted view will be augmented one inch
vertically by virtue of their heels

good things are worth caring for
good things are worth nurturing

I will look from
four thousand
miles above the
living core of
the living world the
light will cross my
eyes my brain will
produce neuro-
transmitters I will
know why
I even bothered

I will know why
I already know why
how couldn’t I

in my heart I always knew

yeah I’ll talk to death again for a second:
fuck
you.

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.