The essential difference between continental philosophy and analytical philosophy as I see it is in the methodological difference: continental philosophy is phenomenological and analytical philosophy is rational.
Analytical philosophy or traditional philosophy or what you would call just "real" philosophy claims to seek truth but is really only centered around one first principle, despite how many legitimate and substantive attacks have been made to disprove it (i.e. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations). Rationality = Reality, in their point of view and this is their truth. They never moved past Hegel, in that respect.
Continental philosophy claims to seek truth based on a phenomenological methodology that started with Husserl or, arguably, Nietzsche. Their approach to truth is based on finding a pattern within a certain realm of phenomena and building on those patterns to create a system that is less than purely logical. It's not hard logic, but there is a consistency to it. The biggest difference for them is that reality =\= pure rationality. Though they to rely quite heavily on this method of phenomenology, it is essentially the phenomena, the metaphysical event, that is their first principle.
The extent to which they stray from this phenomenological first principle depends on the philosopher. To get a real representation of thinkers who totally embrace the first principles in their respective traditions, I'd say look at Immanuel Kant or Ludwig Wittgenstein for analytical and Emmanuel Levinas or Martin Heidegger for the continental.
The thinkers you mention such as Lyotard, Derrida, or Foucault certainly belong in the continental tradition, but I've found that they do stray a bit from the phenomenological foundation so I can see where your original question is coming from.
But to answer your question directly, continental philosophy may appear to be speculative poetry, but I wouldn't say that it is, even for the examples you listed. It's not purely logical, but it's not speculative either.