LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

A writer, vocalist and sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of TwERK (Belladonna, 2013). Her interdisciplinary work has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, at International Poetry Festivals in Berlin and Bucharest, the 56th Venice Biennale and in Beijing as a Red Gate Artist in Residence. As a curator and director, she has staged events at BAM Café, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The David Rubenstein Atrium, The Highline, Poets House and El Museo del Barrio. LaTasha is the recipient of numerous awards; of them include New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Whiting Foundation Literary Award. She lives in Harlem, New York.


Leeuwarden All citybooks



An unconventional citybook requires an unconvential approach... A pdf file does this citybook much more justice than a web display. Therefore, you will find the citybook in a basic layout displayed underneath accompanied by a link to the pdf file complete with the original layout and endnotes by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs.

View pfd file with original layout & extra endnotes


LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs


v. to be, to exist. A owru de baka a doro. The machete is behind the door.

Den sortu bigi meti dati fu fosi no de moro.

Those big kinds of animals from the past do not exist anymore.

Sranan Tongo – English Dictionary

“Working across languages is a conundrum, especially for those of us who speak and write in the language of the empire. Our language perpetrates the invisibility of the other. Our language imposes the privilege of the same. Yet we translate into our language. We translate into our language to rewrite our language.”

A Manifesto for Ultratranslation, Antena

“I am black and white and pink and yellow.”

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry

Oompa Loompa

soy aquí new tongue. can you welcome this

gaze towards words unspoken by a cynical generation? dump

some luster of rulers. your labor deserves plaudits. of

pompeblêd never explained. just expected. yours

a root I may retain just the slurs. general blah blah is null. so

simply: we are bipedal but we be natural idiots. plainly, full

of ourselves; driven to control the oceans, the winds, adjectives. your

cheese is mean friend. like pungent crunch. but we knew this. skin

fished & fry up. I thought it was the French to blame on mayo. a

deaf waitress serves/teaches me ‘espresso.’ a cashier denies me stamps. coat

the roofs w/ hert e ja e taal e meme. no volume raised though. so

who hears if unable to read? does this hand need be this heavy?

elaborate for me this thing about Frisian women. evidence of heavy

unfettered traits all leading to Famke Janssen. bad example? so…

ferhoalen. the Dutch ‘g’ estou não meu compadre. relatives not. coat

of honing on Spain o Arawak o (insert African/Asian root here) well, then we duet. a

transfer of particles across ponds where escaped, we collage. my skin

code switch; longing tropics, it pales beside Waddenzee. your

oak thrives in sand as I digress to YouTube tutorials to catch di riddim. full

of joy. alas the shop for Clumpys is open from 12-5. the tallest in Europe eh? so

what about the Danes? hung like Grutte Pier? get yours

vertical ascents. damn your staircases. scalene, obtuse triangles of

of hell. misdirected retribution for fiending Vlisco. dump

more tea inna dey cup please. até mais moanna. my lessons forgot this.

Agehya – Zumbi

after Stanley Brouwn

o número total de minhas passos em The Bronx

the total number of my steps in

watashi no suteppu no sōsū Harlem

the total number of my steps in

el número total de mis pasos en Helmond

the total number of my steps in

watashi no suteppu no sōsū Nishi Ogikubo

the total number of my steps in

o número total de minhas passos em North Carolina

the total number of my steps in

watashi no suteppu no sōsū Okinawa

the total number of my steps in

el número total de mis pasos en São Salvador de Bahia

the total number of my steps in

watashi no suteppu no sōsū Taxco

the total number of my steps in

o número total de minhas passos em Tsalagi

the total number of my steps con

watashi no suteppu no sōsū Waddenzee

the total number of my steps in

el número total de mis trapus en Ilè Yorùbá


para Titia y Petronella y M

let’s play a game. first step? wife or wet nurse?

heathered fragrance of breast milk or perfume?

whose ginger curlicue crushed shōguns. whom

is worth study? umeboshi kyōi. pursed

cheeks, flushed freckled, unsought laws crashed verse

nutmeg. cooper. flecked hint of Marathy.

mamushi christened for baby daddy

exchanged façades on a fan shaped island

oddities. neither skilled courtesan almonds

who receive clover, astrolabes, lacquer, cohi.

drops of bonyū sweet rice spectacled aijin

did honor let the boy pick up Nihongo?

a single vase might have stored cane azijin

cherries for the daughter. what for the Jawa-go?

cada panel tem a sua tampa

ai na ai

you muddy the Dutch as the brain fidgets between your first & likely fourth

what you share are Somalian relations scattered. Toronto, Minnesota, the UK.

near Sint Anthonystraat our hue makes we familiar. makes we want to communicate.

separated by roots planted far from there & over there.

our ancestors had blasphemed

thus, we are here. kanohi ki te kanohi

ai na ai

over kibbeling, migration did not require English or Frisian for you.

my effort is useless. three words in Dutch will have to do.

where about in China did you come from & are there any relatives in Flushing, Queens?

like you, do they scale and slice up fish in Harlem?

beside the canal, on a street lined with cheese shops,

pointless are the four tones. I am far from Feijiacun’s demolished markets.

we are far from hukou. we. migratory birds assimilated into the paragraph of law.

ai na ai

even the Vietnamese bánh bao is Dutch.

I hear no evidence of your parents.

that private voice ornate & clandestine

won’t be eavesdropped upon between customer service & food prep.

ai na ai

buying a tourist magnet, I find ones for Egypt beside them.

it would be a deal you mention. 5 euro instead of 25 as priced in Amsterdam

still, the curiosity: miniature windmills beside pyramids. busts of pharaohs, nautical joys upon the Nile accommodating cows & flags. I ask you if there is a mosque

as I have visited the former Jewish school for children;

the protestant church where royals are entombed.

my reasons are simple:

where can I hear Arabic in Leeuwarden?

ai na ai

you break the Dutch w/ pauses. praise our marvelous squishy cerebral cortex

we dream in one language until we encounter another. these machines,

recall the first Thai word in order to answer mine in English

we smile. then become universal. facial expressions for pain & relief.

pointing to areas on my back.

motioning ‘gentle’ towards the lumbar arc of spine.

ai na ai

in the center of the city, the capital of Friesland,

I am stared back at blankly for ‘Tige tank.’

fair-trade chocolate does not speak Frisian.


European Lowlands know how to control flood zones....
What is it that the USA doesn’t comprehend for controlling our Lowlands?


the sea once divided the earth. since abandoning the sand,

where monks claimed & dredged moeras, no one asked for her return.

to this the sea whispered eu queria a noite.

insects & avocet fashion the coast

parcel out larva, microbes, oysters w/ the flocks

I gave low tides she surges against each dyke.

a papal declaration. was I not enough to worship?

the sum of a zealous 1493 inter caetera.

contained are faint hauntings inside the marsh. passed, the first reclamation

a frontiersmen’s belief of doctrine

that gospels for potatoes, doubts the intelligence

of octopi w/ three hearts & nine brains

hands could harvest seekraal & let the sea be

a second dyke made of peat & clay. moi. moai. mildly tame,

a swallow prays for safe passage mid-air while draughts are tackled below.

the sea tires from the holy trinity, the fourth dyke, a sealed inlet,

the ninth dam, the eighth canal. one’s survival exceeds

as another subside. preferring wheat & onions over currents

in time, the suffering is of little calamity. a curious brine pulled & pushed

upon necessity. polders asserted by rulers & why you stand here.

industry. how resourceful humanity the sea tells you. prachtig. how ûnfolslein


between 1880 and 1900, resulting from a farm crisis,

20,000 Frisians emigrated to the US…

ระยะทางจาก Marrakech, โมร็อกโก ถึง Leeuwarden คือ 9,089 km

masaafada u dhexeysa Marrakech, Morocco ilaa Leeuwarden waa 3,158.4 km

the distance from Marrakech, Morocco to Leeuwarden is 3,158.4 km

the distance from Cairo, Egypt to Leeuwarden is 5,266.8 km

khoảng cách từ thành phố Hồ Chí Minh đến Leeuwarden là 9.562 km

the distance from Ho Chi Minh City to Leeuwarden is 9,562 km

the distance from Bangkok Thailand to Leeuwarden is …

İstanbul'dan uzaklığı, Türkiye Leeuwarden 2,694,9 km

the distance from Istanbul, Turkey to Leeuwarden is 2,694.9 km

the distance from Somalia to Leeuwarden is 9,905.7 km

расстояние от Украины до Леувардена - 2114,9 км

the distance from Ukraine to Leeuwarden is 2,141.9 km

distance becomes distance

homing pigeons & croquette

in the book shop, there lives a stand of postcards. on the stand

there lives flags w/ seven red unidentified objects & coat of arms.

there lives photos of canals & cows & big black horses & a lopsided church tower.

sân razeshout zand maan moannemoon/month

prústesneeze rêsterest

in the bookshop there is a counter & behind the counter are

postage stamps for the postcards. the relationship of the two

intrinsically linked to the history of communication.

stills, moving images of women & men delivering correspondence,

pre-bike messenger, dingy white duffle bags w/ drawstrings,

containers corroded bloated w/ kernals of episode.

letters so dense Mata Hari deserved a hardcover.

evidence in the requests for couches to crash, money, legal advice

trippin’. entreats denied in letters. or bacon verse across waters

we are suffering. please come.

dûnsjedance kuierjestroll fuorjefeed kjirmjegroan rêsterest

the postcard. a brief reports a hello a complaint a love you a miss you

a you’s a bitch I mean a kutwijf

a hufter a troela nah I’m joking lol smdh beijos

cheaper than an envelope. smaller than a manila

a TMI public announcement

anyone on its passage could read it. the postcard wears a journey

the finger prints burdened w/ its Mecca

the postcard wears São Salvador de Bahia, the postcard wears Cuba,

wears Slovensko,

the postcard wears Beijing, the postcard wears Dominican Republic, wears Japan,

the postcard wears Berlin, wears Phoenix Arizona, wears Romania

wears Ojo Caliente

the postcard wears Okinawa, the postcard wears Venice

the postcard wears Abu Dhabi

in a bookstore, where postcards filled w/ letters & findings & drunk towers

& voyages awaiting newer expeditions readied w/ ink smudges,

la tienda no venderá los sellos.

language halts. dogmas a bitch. a kutwijf

erstwhile innovations drift into exploitation.

for the “gesture” of ease,

forfeit twice as much

or ditch endeavor all at once.

switch back to electronic. fuck it.

who writes anymore? hand script is so ballpoint.

old school. geriatric.

kluutseabird skíepsheep grêftcanal

wollewant to wurdebecome ûntginnereclaim the prachtigbeautiful

into piles of mail, sifted, assorted, placed in carrier bags & plastic containers; ubiquitous air mail

onto planes arrive in one place handed off to another sorted resorted into a mailbox a PO box

onto a fridge affixed w/ magnet magic tape thumb tacked to corkboard paper clipped

into a shoe box made into a mobile for a child’s first year the cheapest gift you can give

an affirmation:

you can fight this cancer I’m thinking about you goddess this place is a trip. I met this fine ass man girl…

new words lose retention. slang slips inside a construction site, stumbling on low

indentations that designate road from sidewalk

the kind of home felt inside the African One Stop shop for all things

lace front satin head wrap

dried shrimp fufu plátano maduro frito palm oil spice

guided tour narratives & motives bala entonces a blur…

the queen was so well loved but they did what to her skull?

kiivjequarrel with boadskipmessage azemjebreathe

in plakplace hâldehold fleurichcheerful

curious tragic consequences

as the last Taushiro is a lonesome inebriated man

bamboozled by missionaries subsidized by oil companies to translate the bible.

en México the old man’s sole interest is his harvest of cocao

though Ayapaneco tiene muchas palabras y poco tiempo.

a postage stamp held hostage. void of ink stains

finger smudges, blood stains from some accidental shooting of oneself.

of foot prints & lekkerbekje grease. the postcard assumes position of book marker.

some pretty momento.

no message. no further journey beyond purchase & journal.

the magic of babbling verbiage. how Oldehove slants.

& along the canals there are homes that mimic so.

a flash of Rembrandt’s statue & Friesian wife. sheep on alert beside swarte hoanne.

old windmills stilled by innovation. flickering, the story of one king

falling off a boat. how the whole mess of royals have Friesian ancestry.

how taking on French & Spanish names were trendy y la reina Máxima es Argentina.

a sapling for each royal & what she said about Dutch identity,

probably means blip cause Friesians ain’t Dutch

or Flemish.

these windmills extraterrestrial

engineered for heptapod hopscotch,

likely to confuse migratory birds

from Africa & South America.

here, they arrive

needing little from letters;

modified & sonic

guttural & hefty.

one day there will be no stamps

& one day, there will no words.

ôfstân wurdt ôfstân

Hotline Bling

o total número das minhas prèt stappen in


het total number of minhas dyomp’ati stappen in


o total número de mis trapus fanowdu in Frisian

skucha bai ku mi

het totaal number of my divorsiá steps ini fesi dentro

Goo goo gaa gaa

het totaal number of mi nèchi steps dentro


o total número das minhas passos dorosei em Nihongo

bai ku mi skucha

het totaal number of myn pina stappen te


o total número of mis krasi pasos binnen

Runa Simi

o total número de moi futu binnen

Te Reo Maori

skucha bai ku mi

het total number das minhas burachi stappen op ᏀᎳᎩ

the total number of my broko stupu con


habri pa mi

ring ring

View pfd file with original layout extra endnotes



LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs schreef over Leeuwarden de reeks gedichten THOUgHT spoRtS waarin ze de grenzen van de taal aftast. De Nederlandse en Friese vertaling zullen halverwege 2019 klaar zijn, het Engelse origineel is al online te vinden.