D. B. DEVILLIERS

Poetry

This Is The Longest Sentence You’re Likely To Read Today/This Too Shall Pass (Away)

Here’s one I wrote a while back and didn’t put up because, well, just read it and you’ll see why. I guess it’s kind of sad.

If all we are is the sum of the choices we make
when the fuck did I ever choose this was it
last night this morning last year my next life past
life this very instant? I can’t remember am I always choosing this
I can’t remember anything my hands shake almost
too hard to even type this if only I could have a strong
drink or five right now it takes that many anymore to
stave it off I guess that might be one reason why I
feel like I’m dying all the time the choices we
make why do we make them and at this
fleeting waystop en route from oblivion to oblivion will I
spend myself hammered or shaking so hard I had to locktite the
screws in my head forgetting being as it happens
compulsively telling friends and strangers alike
I am insane
can you read it from my face you can can’t you can’t you
tell I’m paranoid about my own paranoia and the shame
I should feel ashamed of this right have I earned the
right to suffer from mental illness yet have I earned the
right to write about it I don’t know but my own better judgment
tells me to bury this shit hide it tell no one because most people
just can’t understand
and christ do I wish I didn’t
but I disregard my better judgment as always
I’ve got to write it, it’s a compulsion
thankfully it does make me feel better about it all
but isn’t it already readily transparent I feel like everyone can see it
feel like my pores excrete some sort of pheromone that signals to everyone in my
immediate vicinity: this guy’s unhappy
did I forget to take the shirt off this morning that reads hey everyone I’m batshit nuts
and I’ve never been so scared in my life except for every other waking moment of
a thing I can’t even name or see or even adequately describe the
aching void the dread the lack that zero absolute beyond reckoning
heat death of consciousness of the self final reversion to
entropy as precedes so must succeed the threshold
singularity black beyond black silent beyond silence the
fear the fear you can’t escape no one will ever escape you’re
making that choice you will always make that choice you
crazy son of a bitch what are you doing to yourself
deep breath fold down visor open mirror look at self
you are ok you are ok you are ok ok
repeat it out loud with conviction you
will survive this day or at least this minute or at least this
instant knock wood it’s all in my head that’s true but
wasn’t geometry all in Euclid’s head at
one point isn’t everything all in our heads well
that’s a little misguided and reductive don’t you
think but the dread sure as shit feels real
is there such a phobia as fear of self
I guess that’s called depression comorbid
generalized anxiety disorder
terms terms
anyway break’s over back to work keep it together.

The Shitty Thing About This Thing Is All Of It

the hard part is of course the beginning
you’ve got to catch the reader’s attention
as an inveterate fleeter of mind I am the difficult
target audience to which I presently address myself
and that’s not some bullshit metaphor no when I write I truly
am just talking to myself
a tendency towards one of several big words I seek to
know myself a little bit better because maybe then I’ll be a
little bit less scared or sad or confused or all the words which
according to my own upbringing and understanding should
not describe a man
and so here I find myself
oh honey baby tell me something I want you to
tell me what you think about when you shake
into tiny little pieces and you blow blood into tissues and
that’s what happened last night huh nothing like a
good expensive regret you can’t afford and oh baby please
tell me something I need you to tell me why you do it and
maybe maybe I can say maybe again and have some hope and
do you have any of that? I’ll spend everything I have if
you’ll sell it but how could I ask that but how couldn’t I see
this is what desperation smells like and I can smell it on you too
but of course you don’t exist and neither do I so hey we have
that in common huh rapport there the lines go and go and goddamn
I am so terribly alone and I am so
terribly afraid and I can’t write anymore because hell I
can hardly even think anymore and that’s the way I want it
one can effectively lobotomize oneself given ethanol enough and time enough and you
get to choke and vomit and bleed and vomit and you get to kill
everything you’ve ever known you get to take it all and when they
finally put you down in the oven or the dirt they’ll read words and
cry and you’ll kill them a little more and maybe maybe you’re being too
hard on yourself but the trouble is you
aren’t being hard enough
or you’d do something about it.

Suppose no one ever told me it would be easy.

The Time Is Now One Quarter To Six In The Morning, Winding Down On The Old Decade Aren’t We

when you die how much of me will die
when I die how much of you will die
how did it get to this
how did we get here
the poet uses repetition to stress a point
breathe
just look at the trees
everything is going to be ok
won’t even hear it no one ever does
not in any meaningful way
breathe
look at the trees
it will take no time at all and right now will be a
terribly long time ago
everything is going to be ok
breathe
look at the trees
look at the sky
everything is going to be ok.

And There Shall Be No More Death

I think I’ll probably live in that moment forever
if only I could live there forever
if only it could have been one of the
good ones or at least the not awful ones if
only I could live forever there where the stunned
disbelieving still held power there’s
a knock on the door nine
forty seven pm there’s been
the worst thing anyone’s ever said
there’s been wash your hands with
warm water don’t use heroin vaccinate drive the
speed limit don’t hold the kickback
brake to the forward handle on the saw there’s
change your oil don’t run yellows don’t
drive drunk we’ll come get you
make your bed
take your vitamins
make friends
play sports
study
try
try and you’ll make it
but there’s worst thing anyone’s ever heard the
worst thing anyone’s ever said
there’s been an accident
and if I could live forever
if I could live forever
sometimes you follow the rules and sometimes there’s just
nothing to be done
killed instantly they said but don’t you
think they always say that
and but what did you do except unwittingly
intercept the deviant trajectory of an unconscious man who
should have been piloting his seven thousand pound
vehicle and sometimes you just don’t get to know why
you just don’t get to know why
do we even really exist
and if we don’t then can we really no longer exist
somewhere else in time or space does that
awful closed casket find love find peace make peace
you just can’t know.

Notes Circa November 2012 Yeah I’m Still Hung Up

I was going to say something
but now I can’t remember
it was almost seven years ago and
I listened to that song
I remember where I was at that intersection turning
left up the state route for a five hundred mile
trip and goddamn did my heart almost just explode when
I thought of you
and I called you when I was there
I remember
there were two payphones I had to wait
til seven thirty at night to call you
do you remember
and so much like you have no idea so much did
I wish there were anything I could do
well I guess there was
I called you and your voice was enough
but you know what I mean by I wish I’d done anything
fifteen minutes at a time but man we ran that didn’t we
I don’t know what you thought of me
I’ve never been good at that sort of thing
and I made promises
I don’t believe I kept a single one
I don’t believe you promised me anything
you were always more honest
it was only a year or so ago that
I went back out to detroit
a little more than a year
and I sat in that room from which I called you
and again I thought my heart might explode
but for different reasons
one of those things
and I wished
I wished and wished
but you can’t travel time can you
where did the hope go
I don’t know
let me know if you find it.

Stock Images

where upon this shore will we wash up
kill my loneliness and I’ll kill yours
there we’ll be til we tire and finally retire
and wake and wake and wake and there
we’ll be upon the shore
shipwrecked stranded on a highly populous island
stare if you’d like
aspirants alpha and omega
sign your name in his book and we’ll
wake up on the shore with
things to say
I was born in love
it was everything else that did it.

Sorry No Eggs Today (Hope)

and you try so hard or you
don’t try at all and you’d
think you’d learn but you don’t
you find new means by which to
derive hope or you use the old
ones or there are none and you
try really hard or you don’t
try at all and you beat on towards
the zero one hundred and fifty one
thousand and six hundred every
single day and it’s so terribly
hard to escape the preoccupation but
you try so hard and it’s what
you think about when you
scream in your sleep but you
don’t know what it is and you
think you’d learn but
you don’t and it all feels
like it’s getting darker and
darker and you try so hard but
it doesn’t work so you try
a different way and it all you
think you’d learn but
godot doesn’t show
nothing is won
nothing is learned
no one is saved

there’s just not enough time
there’s just no time
if only we had more time

but it didn’t not happen yet
and the poem isn’t over
especially when it is.

what I’m trying to say here is that
I’m very very afraid to die
and despite this fact it’s just so hard
to make meaning out of life
but it’s so important
so staggeringly important
that you try.

Gratuitous And Ill-Advised Exposure Of Vulnerability, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Mood Disorder

Well we can start off with an apology
I’m sorry about my manic depressive affections
you’ve found as others have before you that those
quirks you once enjoyed eventually irritate
and then enrage
and now you kind of know how I feel about them
a borderline love we had
a flash in the pan misfire oops
and it makes me angry and it makes me sad but
you’ve got to keep trying
otherwise well
and it can help sometimes to sit at a typewriter and
seek validation that way
and it can hurt sometimes too but hey habit’s habit
we do what we will do and what we’ve always done
now that’s a little fatalistic don’t you think
yeah well
and what else would I write about I wonder
but of course if I could I’d give all of these goddamned
words back if I could if I could
not understand them but you can’t do that there’s
no cure for it and I know that it makes me hard to
invest yourself in
or rather just very risky
not sure anyone’s ever gotten a return
depends on what qualifies as such
and the platen on this thing’s gotten many a beating as a result
poor thing all those little hammer blows they’ve gotta hurt
this piece of paper too must be having a bad time
oh well you are what you’re made for
dee bee devilliers the fatalist again
and what was he made for
different kinds of hammer blows I suppose
and then that’s the nice and terrible thing about time
you sure can get used to it
you sure can get used to it.

The Author vs. The Protagonist’s One True Wonderful Idealized Love

What a wonderful pretty thing you are
and oh it hurts it hurts
I’d like for you to do such terrible things to me
and I to you
such nice and terrible things
shame I’m so far away from this everything
scene in the movie cuts soundtrack to tinnitus white noise ring
protagonist gazes about him at people continuing
conversations he cannot hear
blurred perimeter
good looking people smile very white smiles
laugh surely very honest laughs if we could hear them over the
riiiiiiiiiinggggg
left right pan
where the fuck am I
who the fuck are these people
where are they
who the fuck am I
and you you electric master of all creation
though I carry all the weight and merit of the protagonist
and the author
I cannot speak to you
or will I ever
any longer
or ever
you’re too too
words fail.

Points Make Lines Make Words Make Lines Make Points

I do of course invariably hope for your
continued success and good feeling or
your failure and misery or some happy
intermingling of the above mentioned
as you see fit and wish for however you
like it I hope you have it that way
I hope these words find you as well or
as poorly as you would like them to
I hope you’ll be elected president and coronated and
sell yourself still for the light sting of a dirty
needle quickly melted away into the floating
and the forgetting with the loosening belt or rubber tubing and
the mule’s kick to the nose to come back up hello
mr president here stands the state of the union all
good feeling and destruction prompt and utter
nothing much to be done so let’s take a lovely little
promenade take the acrid ashen air this fine afternoon
thunder or gunfire who can tell pray do avoid the
craters it wouldn’t be very much up to your
estimable office having to inaugurate
the replacement of one killed out of clumsiness and pay no
mind that’s merely lightning not the flash of cannon but
do please take care as well not to find yourself struck in any case
unless that’s how you’d like it
then we might have an electric president
and I’ll learn to draw and make a comic book series during
the course which you’ll shoot electricity from your
pens at enemies of the state and when you hand them out to children after
noteworthy signings into law they’ll have to wear heavy
rubber gloves and take care not to drop them while bathing because
they don’t get to get superpowers they just die and you can
call a press conference and I’ll take the podium and concede that
this was all rather a poor idea because we’re not heroes
and there were too many things unanticipated
and this isn’t political
it’s just death
always death.