QUAD, DREAMING

a collaborative poem by the 2022 ALC students of Sarah
Burgoyne’s Literature and Creative Practice class

Each stanza was written simultaneously in response to Beckett’s wordless, made for TV play Quad (1981).
In the play, four dancers dressed in long anonymous robes tread a square in fixed
patterns, avoiding a “danger zone” at the centre of the square. The dreamlike play
is made even more oneiric by the poetic responses that make up this poem: an
“alone-together” chorus responding to the opaque (and humorous) work.
Numbered stanzas authored by the following writers:


I. Emma Majaury
II. Timmy Taing
III. Stefanie Capozzo
IV. Eden Daniel
V. Audréanne Bouchard
VI. Elodie Lavictoire
VII. Lucie Dejardin
VIII. Nashley Archer
IX. Hailey Manca
X. Aliyah Sarimazi
XI. Jamie Lee Lamothe
XII. Noemie Brisson
XIII. Karina Hesselbo
XIV. Lora Amir Alsaoub
XV. Esther Forbes
XVI. Emmy Rubin
XVII. Nathaniel Nagano
Deschamps
XVIII.Dimitra Stappas
XIX. Stéphanie Dale
XX. Willyam Ricard
XXI. Vanessa Lozza
XXII. Harrison Meak
XXIII.Ivano Milevoy
XXIV. Will Dusablon Girard
XXV. Djamila Mostefai
XXVI. Maria Jose Jimenez Acosta
XXVII. Mila Frumovitz
XXVIII. Ava Jast
XXIX. Anna Kyrytsya
XXX. Gerella Lyn Tugas
XXXI. Émile Cooren
XXXII. Paris Soleimanipour
XXXIII. Lucas Cameron Rotondo
XXXIV. Ethan Shahin

QUAD, DREAMING
Pianissimo throughout.
—Samuel Beckett
I.
Like ghosts
looking for shelter
old hags are chased by the wind

II.
Ghost pieces, accident site
Left turn, mute looping middle
Stalemate master, taken offstage

III.
Pulling in passerbys
for its total tally
ash wafts past a dark alley

IV.
No!
Stay back!
Crush in!
Huddle!

V.
Life goes
People go
None left intact
People come back

VI.
Each and every time
Avoid collision
Pace face to face

VII.
All hopes are lost
But are they? 1… 2… 3…
Inhale… Exhale…

VIII.
The strangers became odd friends
who left me pending mid sentence
When they came back, they were dressed in white

IX.
Like a broken carousel
Colours passing by
1… a 2 … a 3 …. A 4

X.
The drumming rapids
as they suspend themselves
Towards the uncertainty

XI.
Musik geht brrr brr
1
Gehirn macht brrr brrr
Doppelgänger
they’re screaming: “Come and get her”

XII.
Normal people wouldn’t bother recalling such trivial yet disheartening things, and yet
they’re all I have. My feet keep tapping and I halt. I lock myself inside.
Tap tap tap

XIII.
A seamless desert
Large feet scraping along sandstone
“Where are you going?”

XIV.
The inside of your prison
Such precision missing
the sly point

XV.
Pray for an ice pick
Place the spike
behind grey shadows

XVI.
Because when we meet the others again
the single rhythm feels like
it never existed at all
2

XVII.
In the trifecta
we are but to be reminded
that four is more than just a number

XVIII.
There is no path but there is deviation
Go around and come back
blue like wisdom and freedom
red like love and life

XIX.
Endless maze
of bouncing criminals
An egg shatters
yellowless seeps

XX.
“I can’t believe this was made for TV”
“This is really grating”
“This is way too long!”

XXI.
The sound of the jungle is loud
even though there is no crowd
George, King of the jungle, is not seen

XXII.
As we are moving forward
in an endless cycle
3
In an endless cycle
Our differences are alike

XXIII.
So with heads bowed and thoughts clouded
by tunnel vision, not wanting to break the status quo
not even create a small incision

XXIV.
Like a solar system gravitating towards
your pulse beating loudly behind your brain
as feet shuffle scratching red and stop, stop!
Why won’t they stop?

XXV.
Choreographed skeletons harmonize
A hidden, failed passagio
Tic Tac Tic Tac

XXVI.
The cycle of our lives overlapping
Can you see me? Don’t touch me
Mechanic hesitation because how could I ever

XXVII.
Has “Quad” become a breath? A heartbeat?
“Oh my god I loved you as player 2 in ‘Quad!’
The red cloak really suited you!”
4

XXVIII.
A liminal space and anything goes.
Nothing changes, does that calm you? Does your mind race
in a hurry, following in the shuffle?

XXIX.
Limbo bodes limbo, transe-ition;
one-two-three-four-onetwo
threefour-onetwothreefourevermore

XXX.
I watch as you wander the wary square.
You blaze through the four bland corners.
But meet—rush!
Run with your radiant friend Panic!

XXXI.
After many rides under the moon
I’d had enough of the sand dunes
I made the long trip home

XXXII.
Lost with nowhere to go
Always in motion you and me
The music when we’re together runs wild

XXXIII.
Drums of broken silence fuel liberation
Familiar gnawing—
Footsteps tempt intrusive thought
5

XXXIV.
Well-collected disconnect holds weight
Do not wait to complete him in his dance
He dances for two, and would surely dance for four if asked

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