About the Author

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard is an emcee, playwright, and arts administrator. Her work has been recognized with a Siminovitch Prize nomination, SATAward nomination, the Herman Voaden Playwriting Award, the Enbridge playRites Award, a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and two nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. She is the current artistic director of New Harlem Productions.

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Sound of the Beast


Have you ever been slow cruised?
If you have, you know it.
If you haven’t, it’s impossible to explain It’s like... like this.   The cops are always out there, making themselves know Nothing sinister, just visibility
So when it happens...   It’s a thing you know for sure happened when it was happening, but when you try to say what happened, there’s no happening there to describe. This incident, which very definitely is something, becomes nothing. It is like a sentence without a verb.
They ... blehhhh’d me. I’m sorry can you spell that?
No, I can’t. And I can’t draw a picture of it either, or point to it on a doll. But this thing happened ... happens. Frequently. It is the frequency that gets under your skin. The perpetualness.   Each time they pass they are saying something. Do you see me?
I see you.
And I know what you’re about to do. Am I gonna stop you today? Maybe .... Nah. Today I’ll keep driving. But I could have stopped. I could have.   It’s a very grown up game of “I’m not touching you.” And you don’t want to get touched.   So when you see them, you suddenly think, “act like nothing’s going on” which is how you were acting before you saw them, because nothing, genuinely, is going on. But suddenly you can’t remember what that looked like, so you are racking your brain trying to remember how fast you were walking before you saw them, and then you wonder, did I just speed up, or slow down, and does that look suspicious, and is there a more suspicious looking person nearby I could walk past in order to become less threatening on the curve, and fair enough, I look like the type, right? Fair enough. Cuz why didn’t I wear a bowtie to the laundromat today? And all the while they are slowly cruising by,   Do you know what I mean?
Have you ever been slow cruised? If you have, you know it. If you haven’t... You say ‘just take it cuz it all serves a purpose’
And ‘if you never did nothing, why you getting nervous?’ Seems knee jerk on the surface but it goes deeper:
Sound of the beast is sound of the reaper.
Or the sleeper or the choke
It’s a taser for a toke
Grab the phone, then remember them three numbers is a joke And you’re on your own when you hear that note
cuz the system’s broke....
....   Have you ever been slow-cruised?...

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Body Politic

Phillip: Kettle’s on. If you guys are okay here, I think I’m going to…

Steven: It was a good piece, Phillip. It caught the raw energy. The emotion. The hope.

Phillip: I agree. They were scared of it. Fucking typical.

Steven: That’s what I’m saying. It needs to be read.

Calvin: Well then, let’s get it the fuck out there.

Steven: It needs to be out there.

Phillip: You guys should really do that.

Steven: We can’t. Who’s going to publish it? No one’s going to publish this thing, it’s too…

Calvin: What?

Steven: No one is publishing this kind of thing.

Calvin: You just said that.

Steven: Someone should be.

Calvin: I think we’re on the same page here.

Steven: I could be.

Phillip: You could be.

Steven: We should be.

Phillip: Yeah, you guys should be.

Steven: No. All of us.

Phillip: I’m actually pretty busy these days.

Calvin: You’re not.

Steven: You really aren’t.

Calvin: But it’ll take more than three people.

Steven: Obviously, Calvin.

Calvin: Who?

Steven: You call Jason and Patrick.

Calvin: And Carl.

Steven: I hate Carl. Oh, ask Chaz.

Calvin: Maybe you should ask Chaz.

Steven: Oh, and Deb.

Calvin: Phillip, you have that friend at U of T.

Phillip: I think that this is more your speed, you guys.

Calvin: Okay, bye.

Steven: Phillip, I won’t listen to it. You’re in. Okay? Just say it. You’re in. Okay?

Phillip: Okay. I’m in.

Steven: Good. So let’s get started.

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