BENJAMIN DE BOER


Toronto / Writer & Bookseller

I have been laid off from work and for the last month have been isolating with my roommates in Toronto. Not working from home, but receiving some money through EI to cover rent expenses at least. Spending a lot of time reading and enjoying the affordance of prolonged hypnagogic drifting.

I am a writer and bookseller living in Toronto, Canada. I am currently working on integrating my poetry into an ecological framework.



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I am on a terrace near the beach. The sky is a cloudy mixture of light blues, oranges, and grey. I can see a small, forested cliff veer off on top of a a sandy spit, shooting off into the horizon. I can hear the waves crashing close by and the calls of gulls.

To the left of me stands a tall retaining wall obscuring my view of the beach. I can still smell the salt on the air, though, so I must be by the sea. The cobblestones are rounded along the edges and so are the rocks making up the wall. Their smooth surface is dotted with lichen and other small vegetable life.

I walk along the wall for a little while until I come to a hole in the wall. I look down to a rock at my feet, about the size of a basket ball. It must have fallen from the wall. Looking through the hole I see the water, choppy capillary waves scattering the light overhead. The water is unnaturally purple.

As I focus on the waves, my friend Rowan walks through the sand, up to the hole on the opposite side of the wall. We talk about beauty. Looking at the waves, the lichen, the gulls we find they are all forms suited to their context and in conversation with it. They seem to have a quality that allows the ecosystem to continue living healthily. We wonder if the whole universe has this essential quality, and if this quality is beauty. Everything has somehow grown to suit its position within, usually to a high or seemingly perfect degree. This perfection is found in the coincidence of perpetuity — not eternal but a moment of stability long enough to experience it as a sensation.

We stop talking. I look away from the water and Rowan is beside me now on my side of the wall. We keep walking along it. Then things become less clear and I believe I wake up at this point.

(5/4/2020)



I open my apartment door and walk down the stairs to check the mail. I find an envelope for me behind some flyers and coupons for Domino's Pizza. Its from my work, which is funny because I just received mail from them yesterday.

I go back to my room and open the envelope and pull out a cheque folded in half. This is even funnier because the mail I got from them yesterday was a cheque! I unfold the cheque and nestled inside the fold is another piece of paper. I unfold it, noticing how it was folded eight times. It is another cheque! The first cheque is for $109.40 and the other cheque is for $56.00. I look past the cheques in my hands and there on my table was the one I got yesterday, for $237.57.

When I woke up I tried to calculate how many hours I would have to work to make the dream money. SIx hours and .8 for the first and three and a half for the second one. I check the cheque on my desk and sure enough, the number from the dream was right!

(2/4/2020)