This article is taken from Stand 235, 20(3) September - December 2022.

Niels Havs Aphasia Translated by P.K. Brask and Patrick Friesen
When you see a monkey banging a clam
against a stone it is like seeing one’s self
        investigating a philosophical problem.
No one can preclude that animals are cleverer
than us, they manage life without words,
        we’re unable to do that.  Silence
leads us astray in a psychic labyrinth,
words flicker through the brain like fish
deep down; they constantly shift meaning.

Each of us finds our self in a body;
it is possible to make contact with caresses,
but everything becomes more and more abstract.
Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests;
        the mind remembers the settlements
in raw nature.  Now we live with bookcases
full of dictionaries, in nameless castles of air,
        on separate floors.
        What do you call that?
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