Speculate: A Collection Of Microlit by Eugen Bacon & Dominique Hecq / #Extract #BlogTour @meerkatpress @EugenBacon


From what began as a dialog between two adventurous writers curious about the shape-shifter called a prose poem comes a stunning collection that is a disruption of language—a provocation. Speculate is a hybrid of speculative poetry and flash fiction, thrumming in a pulse of jouissance and intensity that chases the impossible.




The traveler

Her heart is a free tram zone, pedestrian crossings, traffic lights, wheelchair access, all hand-drawn. It’s a labeled platform full of ads by a twaddle of writers saying glance at this, glance at that, and oh look! Free Wi-Fi. DO NOT OBSTRUCT. It’s the yellow and black caution for passengers about a station upgrade, valid tickets, feet on seats, offensive language and taking rubbish with you. If there were words, she would follow the golden line at the platform, speak to it as the train pulled in. She would ask why she’s not experiencing metamorphosis, just optical illusions about power operating doors gliding open and then shut, the train now departing. As she moves up the escalator past the cop shop with its blue and white squares all dirty as bootlegs, no help at a glance, she finds the subway, and then a great big owl fully concrete in the landscape, directing its gaze at the flat crowns of metropolis high-rises that defy or define the city. Like an authorized officer she knows that she must adopt a role that makes sure anyone with access to her toppled heart, delicate but still beating, pays their way. She walks past a teen sat cross-legged on the pavement with a ring on her lip and holding up a sign that says homeless, hungry and three months pregnant, but she keeps walking lest her heart staggers and stops.




Hey, you! You could be me. Life does go upanddown upanddown upanddown. This is why I dust the streets in your city, uncrease your creeks, polish your floors and occasionally collect your dog’s droppings. I know there’ll be spilled wine, broken glass, words curling from the fire in your mouth. A shudder. A pause. A da capo. I know that all too well. I peer through your window, and the pane reflects my shape making for the open road where our shoulders retain the weight of expectancy. Don’t underestimate the virtues of polishing, especially in the Loire Valley where vineyards are doing well in the global village. There I looked after body armor adorned with intricate inlays. I preserved plumes and strengthened holders. I wiped visors, scrubbed chin pieces and gorgets. Straightened cuirasses. I polished breastplates and lance guards and backplates and codpieces and gauntlets and fan plates. And much more, my dear, as the word fan intimates. My nickname was chain mail, then chain fume. Try shackling me now.

Thank you, Eugen Bacon & Dominique Hecq and Meerkat Press


About the authors

Eugen Bacon is African Australian, a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. She’s the author of Claiming T-Mo (Meerkat Press) and Writing Speculative Fiction (Macmillan). Her work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Australian Shadows Awards, Ditmar Awards and Nommo Award for Speculative Fiction by Africans.

Dominique Hecq grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium. She now lives in Melbourne. Her works include a novel, three collections of stories and ten books of poetry. Hecq’s poems and stories have been widely published in anthologies and journals. Often experimental, her work explores love, loss, exile and the possibilities of language. Kaosmos and Tracks (2020) are her latest books. Among other awards such as the Melbourne Fringe Festival Award, the Woorilla Prize for fiction, the Martha Richardson Medal for Poetry, and the New England Poetry Prize, Hecq is a recipient of the 2018 International Best Poets Prize. 


Author Links

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Book Links

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