The Art of Depression: David Estringel


David Estringel “The Booky Man”

“Smooth Whiskey” (originally published by Cephalopress)



The days are long in a life of slow motion. Waking up takes too long, despite the violent assaults of the alarm clock, unchained by a snooze button—-like me—worn down to the circuitry.



Get up late, again. Take a whore bath in the bathroom sink. Wash what needs it and get out the door. Shower’d be nice…really nice. Maybe tomorrow. Probably not, again.



Office clocks–harbingers of death to my soul–lament the dying of the fire, within. Telephone rings perforate the recirculated air of lungs and mouths like a symphony of electric crickets, tuning-up beneath the hepatic glow of fluorescent suns outside my cubicle’s walls.



Driving home in the same car, down the same roads, in the same rancid clothes that need more than just a good airing out, stuck in this bad track mix, playing on a loop, I need a drink. There’s a bottle at home. Whiskey, I think–a gift for my 50th. It goes down, rough, but smooth, after a glass or two or three.

Smooth is good in a life of no motion.



(Repeat All)

“Blue Room” (published by Former People Journal)

Nights are hardest to bear,

alone, atop these unwashed sheets

that smell of you and me, still,

crinkled and heavy with ghosts

of our sweat and loving juices.

I am tethered

to flashes of smiles and kisses

that linger beneath the sweetness of heated exhales.

To smell your breath, again,

and taste you on the back of my tongue.

To pull you into me by the small of your back

and sink into the warmth of white musk–

a tangle of tongues, fingers, and limbs.

To have you, know you, again,

Inside and out, is all I want.


Laying here, drowning in us,

my legs brush against the cold rustle of sheets you left behind,

cutting the airlessness of this room.

Rolling over, I close my eyes

and sink my face into the depths of your pillow,

escaping the void that even silence’s ring has forgotten,

and take you in, drowning in us,

this lover’s kaddish.

The scent of your hair—

blue fig and oranges—and spit,

 are but pebbles on the gravestone.

“Gin & Tonic on a Sunday Afternoon” (previously published at Salt Ink)

Bitter on the lips,

spirits of juniper berries

bless and honey tongues

with a bite and fire.

Sugared words

that have long abandoned us

take wing in ambrosial flight

from our dark corners–

winter suns–

thawing the frost

that hardens our hearts

and tender fingertips.

Chestnut hair falls before your eyes,

as you read, biting your lip—

the smell of you,

tearing like a machete

through bands of cigarette smoke

that haunt the air between us.

You go to the kitchen to make us another drink.

Suckin’ gin from ice cubes,

I sit,

worshiping you, silently,

in reverie

for letting me miss you,


But that’s the story of you and I–

hard to swallow

save these fleeting moments–

like bubbles

at the back of the throat

that make us smile.

Looking out the window,

clouds drifting across pale azure,

I wonder where the hell I’ve been all this time,

as crickets join the fun—

even if just for a while.

“Storms” (originally published at Cajun Mutt Press)

We live for moments like this,

you and I,

cooled by the safe-silence

of deadened air–

a stillness so heavy

it falls,

crashing around our feet

with the tumult

of resting heartbeats.

I can think.

You can breathe.

We can just…be

for a moment,


But nothing lasts forever

in the eye.

Tears—like rain—must fall,


tattering cheeks

and lips,

eroding the ground

beneath us,

where we stand.

And that deadly call

within me—

like the wind—

must howl,

breaking the chain of calm

that threatens

to drown


in the deep

of my own waters.


can save us.

Not you.

Not me.

Not all the friends in the world.

I am lost

without the thunder.

Without the swell

and crashing of waves.

The murk

that lies

beneath the surface.

My quiet slips away

and I


driving you,


to warm shelter


from me

and my storms.

Just remember me, fondly,

dear friend…when it rains.

2 thoughts on “The Art of Depression: David Estringel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s