D. B. DEVILLIERS

Poetry

Tag: recovery

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.

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.

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.

Better Times

It’s not so bad
I make it out like it’s
something else but it’s
not so
bad—
after all I’m alive
and I’m not likely to ever
live again
and so for now
I can sit here
and write
and sip whiskey
and hear at high bitrate
through well-reviewed and expensive
headphones
the sounds I like to hear,
safe from the
cold and
the rain
and the war and famine and disease
and what the fuck am I complaining about?

I’ve made strides
for I believe
this is the first poem I’ve ever written
with a relatively clear head with
thoughts passing through my brain
at a normal pace and
not at the
speed of
speed
and I know this isn’t good
writing
I know everything I’ve already written
already beats the
everliving shit out
of whatever this is
and I know that I’ll
never again write as well
as I did
but if I don’t
I hope I don’t.
I hope I never do
because take one look at
my ruined smile and my
dead eyes and
see what that
cost me.

And I would’ve ended this there, in my draft of this poem
I wrote on May 30 2017
but these are better times. Or they’re
becoming so.
Anyway I have to believe they are now after
after longer than I’d ever gone without, after all if they
aren’t then why did
I do it at all?
or rather why did I
not do it?

these are better times
which I needed
because I
was at the end of my
fucking rope
strangling, dying
hanging from it.

Was.

A New Day

I lost my job again
stopped showing,
didn’t call again
but that’s okay.
I slept til four PM
each day
for the last week again
but that’s okay.
I got piss-drunk again
can’t remember, but heard I
insulted all my friends
again
but that’s okay.

Today’s a new day.

Lots of places seeking help
and I didn’t like my job anyway
and those nights awake
were worth the wait—
I’d thoughts I may not think again
and my friends all know the way I am
and in spite of that, they’ll stay.

So life’s okay on this overcast day
and I’ll keep living on, some way.

Despair

I don’t think time can kill it off completely, that emotion, I mean, but the years do dull it. Maybe it’s like a blade: you can grind that edge down flat in time, but the steel—the thing itself, however impotent—still exists, and a lifetime of effort couldn’t send it into oblivion.

Hope

But what’s the problem?

The sun shines

birds sing

the trees are green and

they sway in the breeze

and I’m not quite dead yet.

It’s tough to see it all, of course

through the smudged and

cracked lens of my mind’s eye

but maybe if I get the focus just right

I might catch a glimpse of it

and I might know

and I might understand.

 

I might.

 

Maybe I’ll find the strength

to get out of bed

sometimes.

Maybe I’ll get a job

and maybe this time

I’ll keep that job

for longer than a month or two.

Maybe this time is more

than a tally-mark etched

into a concrete wall.

Maybe this time

is the time when

I break down the concrete wall

and my registry of failure crumbles

along with it

and I run so far away

so, so far away

from here.

Maybe.

 

I have to hope

or I’ll never leave.

 

So, then

I’ll hope.