I haven’t read many books with prose poetry. It was an illuminating and exhilarating experience. It was as if I had to use every cell in my body in order to understand what was being written in these short one-page prose. This book is art. It takes time and effort to understand.
The book, itself is not that long, but it took me quite some time to read it. I had to pause, and at times, re-read the passage in order to absorb it.
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Title: Speculate: A collection of Microlit
Author: Eugen Bacon and Dominique Hecq
Paperback Pages: 136 Pages
Publishing Company: Meerkat Press
Publishing Date: January 19, 2021
Genre: Collection, Prose – poetry, Speculative Fiction
Book Page: https://meerkatpress.com/books/speculate/
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.
As this is a collection of prose poetry, there was not plot. Each one of these segments was unique and sharp. One author would write a prose poem and the other would respond. It was interesting to see how the authors reacted to each other’s writing. It was like reading bits of conversations but without a context to them.
Neither a kitchen nor a sky
Her heart is a room full of photographs and pillows wafting around rehearsing melancholy and reinstating torment. But there is still no word, just somber silence in the floating photographs and neglected pillows cartwheeling like burnt toast past the IKEA blender and microwave in a fairy tale of space that does not involve breathing.
His heart smells of burnt toast. If you look closely, you will see a paisley design—the sort found as all-over design for an IKEA bedspread. The main motif and the background of ferns are done with pure (that is unmixed) colors: just red (turkey) and black (jet) to conjure up the marriage of blood and vegemite, the staples of his diet, as well as his sign in the Chinese horoscope. Yes: he is a tiger. Enter the chambers of his heart at your peril. Don’t say you were not warned. He grinds his teeth.
This book was written using prose poetry. I have to admit I didn’t know what exactly that was. I had to do a little bit of research, here’s what I learned:
- A prose poem is basically a poem written as a sentence. Therefore, is a block of text without line breaks.
- It is able to maintain the power of poetry to be lyrical but look like prose.
This book was quite difficult for me to get it to. Each prose poem was short and distinct. I don’t read much poetry, and usually I read long form literature, which is why I think this was a little difficult. But once I understood what was happening, I was able to get into a rhythm of reading them.
I had so many lines that resonated with me, on a deep level.
Here are two:
- Lies we tell until we hear gods laughing so hard the universe splits its sides and music falls from the stars.
- We learn the taste of blood and tears in the womb.
Overall, I had difficulty reading this book. But I think that was the purpose of this book. It was to make the reader think about the physical world around them as well the philosophical one. I was not able to connect the words as a whole, but I was able to enjoy the vivid imagery that was present.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to try prose poetry and expand their reading.
Rating: 3/5 Stars
*Disclaimer: This is not sponsored blog post. Thank you, Meerkat Press for sending an electronic copy of book.
*The opinions expressed in this post are my own.