TEXT poetry


Dominique Hecq


What it’s like to be too much


after Patricia Smith


First of all it’s having your first smoke at three
It’s pinching cherry lollies from your mother’s cupboard
It’s answering back and biting your best friend
It’s eavesdropping and blushing and sweating and stuttering like a wood-pecker
It’s sanding your face to erase your freckles
It’s adding numbers and stringing words together for dolls on death-row
It’s scribbling on the neighbour’s wall with chalk-sticks screeching on red bricks
It’s kissing boys behind the church
It’s gobbling up words without spilling any like they are milk and honey
It’s leaving


It’s hacking off your mother tongue and tending the wound with foreign words
It’s nicking sounds and cadences to patch up sheets of language
It’s hobby-horsing at the Corporate Institute of Excellence where Outlook stares at you
         like a sentinel
It’s tumbling down the waterfall of your mind like your name
is Niagara when you call
yourself Artaud and scream and scream and scream
It’s your feet dragging and your body leaving you
It’s Bedlam Hollywood style with millions of live eyes lining the walls
It’s the hand of god popping pink pills purple pillows paper white pilgrims in your gob
It’s running away like some joker except the joke is on you
It’s bursting into tears as wattle showers you whole with sunshine
Finally it is writing



Dominique Hecq has published five books of poetry, including Good Grief (2000)The silence of the gaze (2001) and Couchgrass (2007). Her recent work increasingly pursues polygeneric concerns – see Out of Bounds (2009) and Stretchmarks of Sun (2014)Hush pushes this formal concern even further and will be published next year. Swarm, Duel and Envol d'aube are in preparation.


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Vol 20 No 2 October 2016
General Editor: Nigel Krauth. Editors: Kevin Brophy & Enza Gandolfo
Creative works editor: Anthony Lawrence