D. B. DEVILLIERS

Poetry

Tag: depression

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.