So this is what it’s like to be interviewed

I was given the opportunity recently to share my personal story and talk about what art and poetry means to me, when my lovely and talented friend Mackenzie Belcastro asked me to write a few words for her blog.

Mackenzie is a novelist (about to release her magical realism debut) and a mindset coach. She helps young creatives to find their path. In that spirit, she has created a series on her blog called “Conversations with Artists”. She sent me some questions that got me thinking, and you can read the resulting words by visiting the page below:

Constance Bourg on Chronic Illness, Poetry, and Healing Through Art

Two poems @ Free Verse Revolution

My artwork on the cover!

Two of my new poems “The barmaid” and “The cure” have been published in the inaugural issue of Free Verse Revolution. I also sent in a photomontage artwork to illustrate the first poem, and to my great delight it made the cover!

If you’d like to get your hands on this wonderful new magazine, all you have to do is go to the Free Verse Revolution website and you can download your copy there.

Be sure to let me know what you thought of my poems. I appreciate the feedback!

My work on the cover of Free Verse Revolution!

What an amazing thing to happen! My photomontage has made the cover of the upcoming first issue of Free Verse Revolution.

Free Verse Revolution:

Coming in mid-March as our first digital issue… hebe (the fountain of youth)!

Below is the front cover, featuring an incredible piece of visual art by Constance Bourg. We feel this piece of art captures the broad mix of work within the issue as our contributors explore the natural world, classical imagery, youth, exploration, what it means to grow old and how we yearn to return to the past.

Constance Bourg lives in the Flemish part of Belgium, where she volunteers at her local library. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, The Poetry Shed, Blanket Sea, The Pink Plastic House anthology and the Emma Press anthology of illness. She also dabbles in collage and is currently working on a book-long erasure poetry and collage project transforming Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book. She leads a part-time life because of an invisible disability called ME/CFS. You can find her at constancebourg.wordpress.com

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Paraselene

How you discommode me

you, paraselene
heavenly body with stolen light

I could scratch your age off
with a nail

charges fighting off hebetude
you who talks at coke speed

or not at all
sipping your drink like venom

and expecting an applause
when you over-apologise

how can something stolen throw such shine
as to blind the world

how come when the shade becomes
the place to live

I still feel the urge to catch
a little of your glow.

*****

This poem was written after a prompt I found on Instagram. I was part of the poetry and writer community there, and Chimen Georgette Kouri, one of the talented writers whose work I love to read, had kindly provided these orphan lines to inspire other creatives.

If you’re curious you can find Chimen on Instagram @chimenkouri or on her website Emotional Alchemy.

Tidal Flats

handcut collage of torn strips from a beach picture with an old drawing of a taxidermy lion. White chrysanthemum flowers were added digitally.
Memento Mori

This insipid afternoon of quicksand
your memory is clawing at me
sinking and reaching for less treacherous ground
scratching at the air, because it is instinctual to fight
even when there is no hope – there are no trees
nor branches on the tidal flats
I cower from its force, sitting on the stairs
with my brow burrowed in
the crook of my arm, a temporary crevice
to hide in – then I look up ashamed
when I hear again the scuffle of black loafers
on the tiles that belonged to your old apartment building
I did not want to see it leave, wheeled out,
a black plastic bag handled with such decorum
the ultimate macabre object
or is it what is within?
your sallow skin, sunken, creviced,
worn to the thread, a taxidermy lion
would look more lively
as the blood sinks it becomes clear
that this body is nothing but a vessel
your lips wrinkled in like an overripe apricot,
but with none of its colour
they formed a final O, a gasp of awe
at the shock of when the injection stopped your heart
had you had a change of mind again
at the very last second?
the tide comes in quicker than you think.

***

Four years ago my dad lost his battle with an aggressive lung cancer. He chose euthanasia, a decision I supported fully. Nevertheless, I found it to be a surreal experience and somewhat traumatising. I wrote this poem about a year ago, when I finally found some space to think back to that day.