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DeVinand Nicholson  (email, website)


About the Poet:

DeVinand lives in Portland, OR with his wife and three children.  He recently performed his poetry at an open-mic, and the ensuing feedback has inspired him to pursue publication.  This is DeVinand's first publication in an online poetry magazine. 



Victory is Mine

i wish i could say failure was as unknown

to me as my brother's current address,

but last year on my seventh anniversary,

i gave my wife a cupcake with a candle in it

and a six pack of non-light beer,

four of which i drank..


the spot where my college diploma

should be is taken by a picture

of pool-playing dogs and the caption,

“hey, one leg on the floor.”


my childhood soccer uniform is not

framed in my office next to other

sports memorabilia from fellow

professional athletes.


yes, failure follows me as closely

as my little brother did, age four through ten.



when i saw that toddler-sized dribble of pee

sporadically hit the inner walls of the toilet

and then waterfall downward into

the pool of redemption below,

i grabbed my newly potty-trained son's arm,

held it up toward the gods that made it all possible,

and yelled, “goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal!”


i followed this up with an acceptance speech

to a still toilet-seated audience member of one,

in which i thanked everyone from huggies pull-ups

to the first years toilet seat company.


weeks of hard work culminated in this one day,

and i knew

victory was mine.



Drug Days

seconds go by at normal speed

one-one thousand, two-one thousand.

irrational thought no longer darts through my brain.

my veins flow slow and smooth with silky blood.

this heart only pounds at the sight of a loved one.


my calm mind deciphers emotion.

these hands only shake with rational fear.

my sweat is saved for the hot summer.

i sleep again through dark winter nights.


these days are not like the drug days,

three-one thousand, four-one thousand,

because i've slowed down enough

to feel again.



Fly, Baby, Fly

broken spirit and wings,

this bird no longer sings.

forgotten are the days of intoxicating flight,

replaced with the fears of another fight.


this was a day much like any other,

but this time the lightening force of his punches created thunder.

through watery eyes and rain-stained glass, she began to see.

as she molted transparent skin and grew thick feathers, she prepared to flee.


like embracing the change of seasons, she embraced new insight.

she learned her own husband made her wings less bright.

visions of the sun on her back as she soared above the situation

gave her the perspective to no longer tolerate victimization.


you see, this bird can't be caged; her wings are too bright.

her mind bends bars as she exercises foresight.

i know because she sings to our kids every night.

fly, baby, fly.



A Light Turned On 

each light within every window of the

increasingly beautiful skyline

represents another existence,

another person with loved ones,

children to come home to,

or a dog,

or even tivo.

i recognize this as i stare at it from a distance.

it seems it's always been from a distance.


what started as looking into the lunch room,

watching kids eat while i was without food

or even a penny,

turned into the opinion that

the religious are truly intolerant wanna-bee

know-it-alls below the surface,

the rich are too superficial and nothing matters

outside their world,

the homeless are lazy drug users,

and most everyone else is a follower.


i'm older now,

a little more beaten down into submission,

my stupidity is currently at it's all-time low,

and i have been every single thing

that i have ever called anyone else.


i still look into the world as

it revolves increasingly slower around me,

but as i become more accepting

and smile more,

and talk to the other parents at the playground,

or discuss Bukowski with a woman

browsing the poetry section of powell's books,


i realize how relative the truth's about people are,


as i get closer to being old and bitter

and then moving on into the ultimate light,

i admit it might not be so bad

to consider myself another one of the lights

that make up the beautiful skyline

in the meantime.




as i gently touch my scalpel to the page,

i peel back layers of once-thick skin.


blood pumps from my aorta into

plump, supple fingers,

through the plastic shaft,

mixing black ink with blue veins,

and oozing onto the page.


i slice into my diseased soul

in hopes my cancerous ways can become benign.


every page,

every surgery,

spills forth from an open heart.