"Three Days"

Benjamin de Boer

Benjamin de Boer (b. 1995, Attiwandaronk, ON) is a writer and arts worker living in Tkaronto. Benjamin received an Honours BA in Philosophy and Archaeology from the University of Toronto in 2018. They write in the love of desire ongoing, exploring openness to instinct, and embracing improvisation. Their research concerns ethics of hospitality developed within 20th century continental thought, with a practical interest in its application in participatory placemaking. They work as an associate at Art Metropole.

“This poem was composed through a process of homophonic translation. This type of translation takes the sonorities of one text as source material to generate a second text, often disregarding the literal meaning of the original.
 The source of this poem consists of three diary entries written by my Pake, Franke, while he and my Oma, Hielkje, travelled across Canada. The diary is written in a small language, a form of Stadsfries known as Sneekers. Stadsfries is a village sociolect spoken by the inhabitants of certain towns in Fryslân, which is a province in The Netherlands. Sneekers is a particular form of this village sociolect spoken by inhabitants of Sneek. They both grew up there and would speak Sneekers to each other. They moved to Canada with their children in the 1950’s, their youngest child being my father.
 The similarities between Sneekers and English are uncanny. Even though I cannot fully understand it, slight traces of meaning emerged while listening to them speak together as a child, and again while reading it in their diary. Translating from an uncanny language into English based off of sound preserves this unsettling voice and mutates it further. The new text bears a formal resemblance to English, though perhaps it is an English unlearned through semantic slippage. In this minor form literal meaning is nowhere to be found, but the language can connect with the reader in curious ways.
 I have been conducting this type of close reading and translation in order to learn a language spoken by family now departed, as well as dislodge the primacy of the English vernacular taught to me by colonial institutions. Travelling through this landscape, swinging between murky contours of barely-known and barely-knowable felt like a way to mourn their distance.
 Here I find another distance: writing nonsense from their leisurely use of this land revokes a particular lineage of ownership and knowing, spares some room for reflection on my capacity for representation. In a small way, this method of writing articulates my closeness to the disaster of death and leaves me unsettled from an entitlement to landscape once captured through language.”

Woe stag, even in twin tied. Hot is maroon god dying, date coal tied now buying all tied ears goading sight. Marred seeker to reach to other bonds was plating in hot look was snow for the wagon, die on thought over through god dying had. We war than plan on, underway to stoop and for a bite that met all match and had impact on bonds whirl were whistling their veil night so feels me, we were getting the under-wheeling to block in prompt. Dredge had jacked tumbling, planks packed up wagging in their order (we had ended it, plans on that moist dried on nails

To play for the tweets blowing blanks we nodded, laden). Marmot veering in spanning slough, we were in the bond to veer whistling ourselves All laden, almost bloodier mode. Door veer lies.

Bandit cost bare flystuff under mosquito veil divert trek tide on me. We redden almost in beets for itch tether, rook all the way god stopping underway for merge break, fervour singing. We wist in that gesture of flogging veer, boot nights in working was in hot was in beet veer sing east. Stern ties probe eager in grout’s hand, stand and watch telling. Signs of forage around. Men sign hot material bed ending will make the fray cord tied, molten wording, hot as in wonder, river most calm. Sign coming, die belief.

Woe stag, even in twin tied. Hot is maroon god dying, date coal tied now buying all tied ears goading sight. Marred seeker to reach to other bonds was plating in hot look was snow for the wagon, die on thought over through god dying had. We war than plan on, underway to stoop and for a bite that met all match and had impact on bonds whirl were whistling their veil night so feels me, we were getting the under-wheeling to block in prompt. Dredge had jacked tumbling, planks packed up wagging in their order (we had ended it, plans on that moist dried on nails

To play for the tweets blowing blanks we nodded, laden). Marmot veering in spanning slough, we were in the bond to veer whistling ourselves All laden, almost bloodier mode. Door veer lies.

Bandit cost bare flystuff under mosquito veil divert trek tide on me. We redden almost in beets for itch tether, rook all the way god stopping underway for merge break, fervour singing. We wist in that gesture of flogging veer, boot nights in working was in hot was in beet veer sing east. Stern ties probe eager in grout’s hand, stand and watch telling. Signs of forage around. Men sign hot material bed ending will make the fray cord tied, molten wording, hot as in wonder, river most calm. Sign coming, die belief.

It was weary then the day end die, biting wood. Good beginning. In ear-like cooked eating. All the out bite to fall, toast, good humour, jam, missing well that we forage day green dyed had met kissing – outkick tore off a twelfth murmur in the fall sun. Hot was well, during even four, got tht we slap in veil.

Stand night, feel agenda got one day dinging die best list moisten gibberish was the offal. The wagon met benzene laden in sign of wet tank of propane gas. Leg broke met coax in fire waking up, pulling.

Sovereignties open, here is night in blank, met in machine gold machine. Under way marrow was keen hacking war up slot, bearing you tell them. On that door given word, and die was well in telephone.

Sucked wrinkles breaking, broke on work flats. The door was open, machine hot handling. Stuck died nod night clear warring hot was night all in good news was clear. Hung angels was feel, better for communicating dazzling half hurting, broken. Time was just turning in the take, round walled and open ended.