Monday, January 18, 2021

Speculate: A Collection of Microlit by Eugen Bacon and Dominique Hecq


Release date: January 19, 2021
Subgenre: Poetry/Prose Collection, Speculative Poetry

About Speculate: A Collection of Microlit:


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.

One might describe some pieces as complex, relentless, but above all, speculating or crossing borders in the fantastic playground of language. We invite you to leap onto the stage of your own imaginings, plunge into what Henry James called the house of fiction.




She steals at dawn


to a place of memory, a beloved place she can enter her stories. The way her fingers pad on the keyboard. The rush that sweeps through her body arrives her at an intersection where mind and fingertip are one. She needs practice sleeping in a little, her lover’s breath heartfelt on her earlobe. But she runs when she can, to a play-filled memory enriched with mannequins she can chase, surreal encounters on red rock bicycles, oh, how she soars.




She feels adrift, like an autumn moth flapping its dusty wings until it rests on your windowpane on the far side of the world. Says there is no rhyme nor reason nor even any explanation for being. Sky pied, almost as perfect as the horse she used to ride. As for turbulence, the sky is cloudless; the writing not exactly cloudy, but cloud-gathering. Now it’s raining streams of light on red rock bicycles.


Let it play out


She wonders at the misjudgment of facts, the hybrid of the unknowing and the uncanny. Looking at the artist and his painting of the death mask, there is notable difference between a brief and a summons. In, out, who commissioned the sketch and to what detail of artwork? Out, in, beyond interrogating the plastic cast disunited from the corpse, how to discern confidence in an artist’s perception? The plan is to keep silent, let it canvas out. Or perhaps to issue a bordering statement that is a responsible thing, or to conclude it’s an illustration that is simply a hoax.




It is a hoax. All art is. We deceive ourselves, sometimes all the better to tell the truth, but deep down we fabulate, fabricate, counterfeit—lie about our deepest desires. As should be. I’ve just picked figs from the tree and painted them, knowing full well it’s plagiarism in the history of art. Now I’m going to stew them, French style: Flambé Figs. Peel them carefully (12 of them). Put them in a heavy-based frying pan. Add 3 tablespoons of curaçao and the same amount of brandy. Sauté them over low heat until the figs take on the color of the painting. Prick them gently. Set them alight and shake the pan until your flame dies. Serve them warm with whipped cream. Sprinkle them with hoax dream powder. Enjoy!


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About Eugen Bacon:

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.

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About Dominique Hecq:

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.


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