Prose Poetry: The Rogue Cousin of a Poem and Microlit | Eugen Bacon

Speculate is a gorgeous (both in text and visuals) collection of prose-poetry by Eugen Bacon and Dominique Hecq. I thoroughly enjoyed these little snippets of literature, presented as one author’s response to the other’s writing. It worked well in this way, with a real stream-of-consciousness, dreamy quality that was entrancing. Highly recommended. One of the authors Eugen Bacon was kind enough to stop by and tell us a little about Prose Poetry.

Prose Poetry: The Rogue Cousin of a Poem and Microlit

by Eugen Bacon

What should the ostrich never say to the prose poet at the beach?

Pull your head in.


In a city of umbrellas and trees, people were generally pleasant.

Conversation fringed on deserts and famine but mostly on diffusion.

Tourists left in wonderment at galleries filled with jungle and pelting rain.

Yet outside was bone-dry. Scorching afternoons serene as watercolours unlicked by rain. We stumbled on an assassination of a bible in broad daylight.

Then it was a dictionary that also knew too much.

Justice slithered towards a textbook, then another.

The book riot was all gently done.

No rampaging mob, rabid or drooling.

Just people walking with umbrellas

taking down Plato, Honoré de Balzac

and anything detailed, unfiltered.

We weren’t those people—

those were strangers

delusional about the power of text.


Prose poetry is a difficult conversation with a poem and flash fiction about why it’s neither of them. Because, of course.

Prose poetry comes in long lines, short lines, stanzas, no stanzas, pretty much no white space, unless otherwise.

Prose poetry illuminates much about poetry and sudden fiction, and the gumdrops who don’t get it.

Prose poetry is not a sonnet or a sestina, not even a skeleton or a skin of a haiku or a couplet.

Prose poetry operates free of syntax but may choose to have its own sense, sound or rhythm.

Prose poetry is amorphous, delineated and most often unrhyming. Yet then…

Prose poetry breaks every rule of poetry. Precisely and immediately.


The popular tabloid ran a column on rampant variants spreading at a Human Nature concert in a small-town bookstore. Be brave it’s a new Cold War, says a sufficient voice, unmasked by the wails of tail-up kittens facing singing mirrors wearing white gloves. Metaphor is unavoidable but allowed with corrective lenses, trumpets and quarantine

in a growing list of exposure sites now at capacity. 


Prose Poetry for Beginners:

  1. Try your hand at writing.
  2. Join a group of prose poets.
  3. Start small: write your rage, glee or misery.
  4. Listen to the news, especially when some knobhead is talking and really riles you up.
  5. Write your guts. Don’t overthink.
  6. Look at your creation: does it tell a story? Edit. Edit.
  7. Read out your prose: listen to its music, how it makes you feel. Edit.
  8. More than half a page? It’s too friggin long.
  9. Express big ideas. Small.


It’s an incompleteness theory based on anti-prosody. We’re at war with an imbecile wheezing sewers of court losses, dragging a mire of conspiracy halfwits. Loose-lipped polies who should know better act in an alternate universe like they don’t. The world needs a vaccine for chaos every twenty seconds in a lame duck era. Seagulls whistle allegations that lack a legal tactic. It’s a dead letter that keeps few citizens entertained, the rest on guard. Meantime, an interactive virus that’s a social whore strikes with fangs every ten minutes. Only too neatly until further notice outside the perimeter of said halfwits. 


Yes. You can write about naughty dragons, dear me in Z years, how air has impacted your soul, chicken, unicorns, money, toilet paper, a day in the life of a glue stick and what-the-frog in prose poetry. We understand about press, freedom of speech, de-blah-blah. But we’re all very. Busy. People. For real. Starting to doubt your personhood right now. Do you have legit questions about prose poetry?     Even crossing the road. Both chickens and unicorns, yes. But you can write about hope, social justice, agency for change—     S.O.R.R.Y?


this quiet dawn you ring 000 and get a spray of kisses through your phone /

you turn on the radio  callers are suitors wooing you by name /

you think this fate is stolen   take your sedan for a car wash /

garage people blow your interior windows with red petals  say you are customer of the year  extra protective wax  dash  console  clay treatment on da house /

you wonder what you remember  what happened when  and if  that perhaps later you’ll sit alone on a stool sipping brandy  shoving a bowl of bar nut mix down your throat /

as your bodies tangle and the mixologist says you’re not impervious  you finally understand the world is not as you made it /

all that happened was a hoax

and this here is real


by Eugen Bacon & Dominique Hecq


GENRE: Collection / Prose-Poetry / Speculative Fiction


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.

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Friends are not important—like plagues, they come and go, even blood is not thicker. But fate is another matter. Some fool in autumn had a drink in the dark, sought a taste of heaven in a street named Bagh Nakh. Found it in the hands of a runaway who raised a hand and plunged a dagger that clung to the idiot’s heart.


You were born in autumn and so, naturally, hate spring. The scent of blackwood showering pollen. The air licked with gold where the buzzing of the bees deepens. The sudden opacity of it all. You run. Run away. Away from the visible and from the invisible. With the pollen clinging to your skin, the sun striking and the darkness beneath your feet settling, you are a living phobia. A fear of no consequence. Yet as eons pass in one beat of the heart, you hear the rustle under the trees. Taste the bite of death.

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.

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