Trainwreck (Miguel Jacq)

Posted on February 28, 2017 by in Heightened Talk

Worlds away in the grey
harbour of St Nazaire
my second cousin reveals

railway tracks encased inside
shipyard walls — an over-engineered

defence of resolute rust;
the only steadfast structure
predating the city around it.

Years later at airports we’d discover
that grand-père also wore medals
embedded in his chest.

Having out-stared him, this gaping
and twisted maw of mid-scream metal
now locks eyes with me.

Have I interrupted like Medusa?
Does the war rage on?

But I am not my grand-père.
Home is a shore far from here:
another invaded country

with a history for covering up
conflict, carpeting the dust.

It’s me who is immobilised.
Fixed to the stones of a place where
horror is a head of snake-steel

gnawing its way out of concrete
into collective memory —
not even a train line to
Tullamarine yet.



Miguel Jacq is a French-Australian poet from Melbourne. In 2016 he won the Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award, and was shortlisted for the New Shoots Poetry Prize. You can read more of Miguel’s poetry on his blog.

DIG (Miguel Jacq)

Posted on December 2, 2015 by in Heightened Talk

FullSizeRender1it is the duty of parents to name you,
to store read-only instinct
in your shell of foreign flesh.

this seems disruptive at first
but I go naturally, native to me,

eastward in the south and
west when north,

fluent but not fluid in motion.

I have not yet been to Finistère,
the ‘end of the earth’,

to centuries-old fog and an art
to breaking bread.

to where huge trawls of the dead
flow slick and glassy-eyed

in waterfalls of tumbled selves,
one net to another,

to where my line was cast.

those still living at the end
of the earth complain
endlessly of weather patterns.

the dead don’t feel rain
but drink it. they have no

instinct for names.
keep digging, they urge,


not to discover
but to experience

the wet
uncovering of things.



Miguel Jacq is a French-Australian writer. He lives in Melbourne, Australia where he runs (some say ruins) an I.T business. For a time he co-edited the online journal Blue Hour Magazine. His work has been published by The Blue Hour Press, Dagda, Deep Water Literary Journal, Kind Of A Hurricane Press, The Poetry Jar, Vox Poetica, PRISM Journal
and Visible Ink.