Poems: Benjamin DeVos

Illo for Benjamin DeVos's poems.

my brain is so awfully sad to be here

i light cigarettes for my drunken uncles
at the rental-based recreational animal-touching exhibit
the llama’s austere purr is terrifying
i choke on fear like a child with a jawbreaker stuck in his throat
my uncles throw their cigarettes at the somber llama
before becoming distracted by the wafting scent of a crêpe stall
‘what is that haunting aroma’ asks my pot-farming uncle john
‘it smells like frozen breakfast food’ creepy uncle phil replies
so begins the parade of middle aged men with learning disabilities
waddling down the block toward a pancake paradise
as i follow them from a distance far enough to prevent association
the somber llama’s leer penetrates like a laser through my soul
i try to distract myself by inspecting the militia-funded street developments
but i can still hear the llama’s purr
i can still see bleary-eyed uncle bob’s urine flow
between the cracks in the asphalt

a non-refundable metaphysical epiphany

i flip through irrelevant tabloids in the waiting room
looking up periodically to remark on the rug and furniture’s aesthetic congruity
the receptionist warns me that my observations are just ubiquitous ideas
which i carelessly uncover while gazing deep into my cellphone
the presence of electronic dance music in the operating room is overwhelming
provoking me to face my internalized rejection while under anesthesia
in a series of satirical dreams about my latent self-pity
i consider my employment history and my shortsighted money-related impulses
maybe this is the start of an early onset adulthood
when i wake from making this vastly deductive leap
i decide to take a long walk around the neighboring bed bath & beyond
retrospectively analyzing my life and experiencing a sense of accomplishment
upon purchasing arbitrary property-based assets


After making a fortune selling x pills and working at Jack In The Box, I decide to retire and live off the land. I choose Florida because it is in a perpetually perfect season where it rains every day. I spend most of my time eating pepperoni pizza in the everglades, watching spiders burst from the inside of unwashed tomatoes. Bushels are gathered from the greenhouse in autumn and dried to obtain functional seeds. The sky is beautiful here, filled with cerulean spice crystals, stars assembled like a puzzle made of burning hydrogen. I am tripping and seeing faces. I take out scissors and cut snowflakes out of shed snakeskin to hang as Christmas decorations. They float through night like flower petals made of ash, breaking apart in the wind. It is like watching life slowly disappear.
Benjamin DeVos is a 23-year-old writer from Philadelphia. His work has appeared recently in decomP and is forthcoming in Alien Mouth and the Bottlecap Press blog. His book Madness Has a Moment and Then Vanishes Before Returning Again is forthcoming this summer with Dostoyevsky Wannabe.

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