colour

“Screams in an empty place” – Jerry Corvil

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Alone in my room, my thoughts are dark
I live in a place where they hate me because my skin is dark.
Whoever says “smile and your misery will be history”
Is lying; the harder I smile the stronger it’s hurting me.

Knees to my chest, my soul crushing into pieces,
Sinking into darkness, happiness is all my heart misses.
Should I even write this; am I ever going to feel better?
I have long been digging from within, looking for a treasure.

Maybe I am not worth anything; should I even keep fighting?
All those thoughts and demons inside of my head.
I call for help, and no one hears me except those monsters under my bed.
I’m asking, to whoever can answer me, how can I survive when my mind is fading?

Those paintings inspire me, tell me there’s still beauty all around me.
I might be sick, who knows? I can only write when life’s hurting me.
Is it ironic to say that the only one who’s always been there for me is loneliness?
I have lived most of my life, lost, scared and confused; I feel better when I’m depressed.

This is what my mind is constantly repeating to itself.
It’s like one side is trying to find solutions, while the other’s killing itself.
I am not asking for much, only need somebody’s presence.
I’m tired of screaming, sitting in this blue room hearing only the echoes of silence.

 

these words by Jerry Corvil were inspired by the work of Nicolas V. Sanchez

 

 

“Pawns” – Stephan Enasni Sunz

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It all began as a game of chess;
history always repeats itself.
We were all hoping for the same mess to be gone.
It’s no mystery that we are being tamed and depressed,
obsessed with the disbeliefs of becoming kings and queens.

Yet reality is so keen on having other plans for us to string together.
As seen before, we are another set of oppressed pawns
stuck with the beliefs of hearing a lord’s call.
Words are left unspoken as we have lost our will to sing;
vocal cords are suppressed as the hours continue to crawl.
This world is the rich man’s board,
with the poor men drawn and stressed against their choices.

Even after falling down the herd’s still willing to take back their voices,
to fill up the void caused by the reign’s vices,
as they believe it’ll only bring hope to the birds with broken wings.

 

these words by Stephan Enasni Sunz were inspired by the work of Nicolas V. Sanchez

 

“White Dresses” – Ruth Daniell

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At the open house held the day after the wedding
you did not recognize the bride until you asked

and your mother pointed her out to you.
Surrounded by wrapped gifts and ribbons,

she was wearing an elegant pant suit appropriate
for a garden party, but you were unimpressed:

you remembered the white gown of the day before,
the tiny pearlescent beads sewn all over its bodice

and the flowing skirts, the way the music swelled
around the fabric as she danced with her groom

and it made you understand something big
and important was happening to the bride

and you thought it must have something to do with
the fact she was beautiful. If I had a dress that pretty,

you said with all the wisdom of your five years,
I would wear it every day. Your mother laughed

and the anecdote became famous in the family
as you grew up. Truth is, you still feel this way,

sometimes. Your own white dress is sheathed
in plastic at the back of your closet and you worry

you will never again be as beautiful as you were that one day
you wore it. You worry it is important to be beautiful,

that there are so few ways for you to be seen in this world
because you were a girl and now you are a woman.

these words by Ruth Daniell were inspired by the work of Nicolas V. Sanchez

“storytelling” – jesslyn delia smith

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i could not see it
before needing a mother,

again,

someone to reframe
a past

no one else
will remember —

there will be days where
you fear your reflection

in that aisle
where they keep frozen food

a parade
will pass
by

they will
all have his face

you will learn how to fold
your body in half

like a woman

let everything
roll down the strands
of your hair

your legs will not hold you
but you will

not need
them by then

these words by jesslyn delia smith were inspired by the work of Nicolas V. Sanchez

“E Flat” – Ivana Velickovic

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The windshield wipers,
unable to keep up
with the onslaught of rain,
conduct the evening’s nocturne,
making the street
seem so soft.

The lights,
they bleed, dissolve,
delicately struggle to keep the night alive
through the threat of approaching dreams.
But they persist,
twinkling like slight touches
on piano keys.
Each flat note an
intentional drip of the rain.

Filmy logos flash like traffic lights,
except they all feel like
green.
Go, quickly now.
And yet I don’t.

I step out of my car,
leave the door wide open.
The streetlights cheer and brighten
as I walk into
a watercolour dream.

 

these words by Ivana Velickovic were inspired by the work of Lin Bao Ling

“Displaced” – Fiona Williams

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I am searching for Home.

I straddle between east and west and belonging has always been evasive.

I am an outsider here but I do not feel so, until they tell me.

It is the same sun that sets in Islamabad and rises in Toronto, isn’t it?
The same sun that kisses my skin but scorches the earth.

So I continue searching.

I have only found comfort in anonymity—
in the sense of security when no one knows my name.

It seems displacement has become a familiar feeling
an existential anxiety that only recognizes a feeling of Calm amongst utter chaos.

I have been searching for Home
and am beginning to realizing
I will only find it within me.

 

these words by Fiona Williams were inspired by the work of Lin Bao Ling

Opening: Reading Coordinator

The Reading Coordinator organizes literary readings with Word and Colour authors and similar writers in the Montreal community. They share the work with the Managing Editor and Community Outreach coordinator, organizing readings at least once per season.

Because Word and Colour is a collective of volunteers working under the mission to confront oppression with words inspired by colour, an ideal candidate would benefit from the position for their professional experience, as it is a volunteer role with the rest of our team. Readings

In general, the Reading Coordinator:

  • finds an appropriate venue;
  • arranges audio equipment;
  • works with the graphic design team for posters;
  • works with the social media team for marketing,
  • and works with the Managing Editor to establish a roster of readers.

To apply, contact word@wordandcolour.com by September 15th with a resume and an answer to the question: why do readings matter?

“Starlight” – Nailah King

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Lena loved to move.

Through space, through life and across lands.

The first thing she ever learned when travelling is that, as you land, the lights dotted along the skyline will take your breath away.

One summer she crept onto roofs in Barcelona waiting for nightfall. Against the purple sky, lights twinkled back at her, the warm air rushing over her, her wine-kissed lips chapped against the sea air.

In movement, she felt free. Each new place cast a spell on her—she walked differently. Sometimes a stride of confidence, sometimes one of fear.

Her mother often asked her: “When are you going to settle down? When will your heart be still?”

She couldn’t answer.

Her mind was often so cluttered. A voice would whisper darkness into her ear. When she couldn’t move, she woke up, either alone or with a lover, in despair.

Many nights she’d walk along the train tracks behind her childhood home, wondering if she’d be hit and if she’d be grateful. Or, sometimes, she wondered if she could run fast enough to hop onto the train and ride it to places unknown.

Bright lights were a beacon of hope; new experiences and people.

On sleepless nights, she curled up by the window waiting for sunlight. Her body marked by tiny incisions from the past, she thought about each scar—a map of the past. She wondered why there weren’t passports for sorrow. To mark the ebb and flow of sadness and joy, destruction and rebuilding, regression and growth.

Once, when she was in the hospital, she booked a flight on her phone.

The nurse screamed at Lena but it didn’t really matter. The nurse’s words sounded warped, gargled even, the onslaught of disappointment and disbelief drifted over her. All she could hear was the sound of the ocean. She closed her eyes.

She heard the blaring sound of the train horn and raced along the tracks, dawn rising behind her.

 

these words by Nailah King were inspired by the work of Lin Bao Ling

“Tickets and Rides” – Josh Elyea

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The neon from the carnival lights, bright against the black sky, hurts my eyes when I stare at it for too long. It’s hard to tell where the light ends and the black begins; no matter how hard I try to hone in on the exact place where they meet, the edge never reveals itself. Sometimes our love is like that, too; even when I want to, I can never really find where the good bits stop and the bad bits start.

It feels as though something horrible is about to happen; the air is heavy, laden, just as it is before the breaking of a storm. I like storms. I remember fondly those moments when I would sit, as a child, on the porch swing with my mother and we’d watch the thunder clouds roll in across the fields. With the defiance found only in youth, I’d scream back towards the lightning with all the breath in my lungs, as my mother shook her head.

You have to whisper to the thunder, she’d say. That’s the only way it can hear you.

My wife looks like my mother, a little.

 The heavy air feels hot on my skin, and I worry my hands are too clammy to reach out and grasp the woman next to me. I do it anyway. As I do, I say that ferris wheels aren’t supposed to move this fast, my darling. They aren’t supposed to fly.

Cotton candy flavored kisses, corny lines like you complete me, cocaine drips and my corduroys rubbing together with that shhhk, shhhk. The drugs were her idea, I swear. Something about shaking the monotony of Saturday night rituals, of having a suburban crisis of faith.  

Stopped at the top, I stare deep into the sky. It’s moving, like a Rorschach without the white. Pulsing, and at the very edges of my eyes, from below, the neon creeps into view. Who knew a glimpse into the abyss could be bought with a single carnival ticket. Here I thought it would cost me a white picket fence.

 

these words by Josh Elyea were inspired by the work of Lin Bao Ling