Dominique Hecq

Dominique Hecq grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium. She now lives in Melbourne. With a BA in Germanic Philology, an MA in literary translation, and a PhD in English, Hecq writes across genres and disciplines—and sometimes across tongues. Her creative works include a novel, three collections of stories, and ten volumes of poetry— Kaosmos (Melbourne Poets Union) and Tracks: Autofictional Fragments of a Journey without Maps (Recent Work Press), both published in 2020 are her latest.

Among other honours such as the Melbourne Fringe Festival Award for Outstanding Writing and Spoken Word Performance, the Woorilla Prize for Fiction, the Martha Richardson Medal for Poetry, the New England Poetry Prize, and the inaugural AALITRA Prize for Literary Translation (Spanish to English), Dominique Hecq is a recipient of the 2018 International Best Poets Prize administered by the International Poetry Translation and Research Centre in conjunction with the International Academy of Arts and Letters.

Fencing with Béatrice Machet in 2018, Dominique contributed a bilingual Flying Islands Press pocket book titled Crypto.

Plus proche de l’aube

Attrape le jour par la peau du coup

les retours au bercail ont les dents pointues

bien qu’ignorantes du sens elles mordent et

confondent

les premières rondeurs     avec un premier amour

sombres et douces les paroles

se fondent dans le tourbillon de l’encre

que nous appelons survie

goutte à goutte c’est toi-même reflété et recueilli

aussi noir que le souffle quand il se faufile

entre les crocs

sous le soleil qui louche

si chaud      tu te glisses    à l’intérieur

en fuite   et griffonne

                       au sujet de rencontres

                          interstellaires

un oiseau-arc-en-ciel—qui

ne t’appartient pas—

est ta main     qui salue

que pourrait-elle attraper qui ne s’échapperait

en gribouillant

mais un « je »

avec multiples voix

et personnages sauvant

scénarios et fragments de temps

ou de mort

quelles quantités pour la même chose

mais un I

ceberg en guise de bateau

revendiquant son extériorité

qui fermente jusqu’à ce que gonflé jusqu’à

ce qu’éclaté prématurément

en essayant pourtant d’être plus humain                   

alors que des dents de glace s’écrasent sur le rivage 

Nearer this dawn


Pick up the day by the scruff of the neck

homecomings have sharp teeth



though ignorant of meaning they bite

taking puppy fat            for puppy love



and dark      soft     words

melt in ink swirl we call

survival



drop by drop it is

your very self reflected and gathered

as dark as breath  when it sneaks out

between fangs



under the cross-eyed sun

so hot        you creep       inside

and scribble at large

                         about interstellar

encounters

a rainbow bird—which

doesn’t belong to you—

is your hand      wavering

what could it grasp that wouldn’t escape

through scrawling 



but an I

with multiple voices

and personae salvaging

scenarios and pieces of time

                                  or death



which amounts to the same thing

but an I

ceberg standing for the ship

claiming its outsiderhood

fermenting till swollen till

prematurely split open

 yet trying to be more human 

 as iceteeth crash on the shoreline

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