What do you get a Chimera for its birthday……


Cake? Amazon gift card? Another really bad sweater? ALL THE BOOKS?

No. Just keep stopping by…..

Chimera is THREE YEARS OLD! Almost 900 posts, some amazing people and three books later here I am! With an oceanfull of gratitude for all of you readers, contributors, supporters.  Yes! even the crabby ones.


(SORRY……couldn’t resist)

But seriously –  I appreciate you all.

I look forward to the next year, you never know what is around the corner! Come and find out with me!


With love and like and some really bad dance moves,

Chimera / Jaye

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Where I Live

Let me show you where I live,

not the house,

not the neighborhood,

not the stairs trudged up and down,

not the spaces I fill and

exist in.

Let me show you where I live.

The halls of memories and mirrors,

the places filled to bursting with tiny boxes,

of buttons and shiny glass and rocks,

and damp handkerchiefs,

and knives.

Pens on every table and

jars of lotion and oil

and books marked “This” and “This, yes” with curls of colored paper.

One wall of hats,

another of masks

and one vast wall all clean white and empty, an uncapped marker dried and forgotten on the floor.

A broken case spills photos across a leaning table,

a laughing girl,

a grimly smiling woman,

and squares of faded blankness,

with smudges in the corners like question marks.

Bowls of water to quell the burnings

and blankets to smother flames and feelings both.

Starlight, moonlight, sunlight; all bottled and labeled and shining in rows,

dried flowers,

bunched and bitter herbs,

pressed letters,

and a doll made of scraps whose face with lopsided smile resembles someone you knew once…

Walk farther in,

farther in,

farther in,

farther down,

where there are no corners,

just slumping curves,

the walls soft and crumbling a bit,

scoured and painted in pale colors with salt water and feathers,

where a goldenwood owl stands sentinel in the middle,

and a small leather book is tucked tidily in a low hanging beam,

worn to a satin finish and pages waterswollen and crisped.

It ends here,

(or begins)

and the light may play games with your eyes,

but focus on me,

on my words,

and you will steady.

Count one



and look…

I am all around you.


This is where I live.





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“Before the feeble dawn of gaslight and tea…” 
Patrick Hamilton

I told you I was sorry,

I promised to be better,

but the words dissolved like the sugar dust on a hot funnel cake,

and I meant them for as long.

You all think I’m a monster, a bastard, a fiend…

and I can’t argue.

My heart seems quite fine without beating,

and I can carry the leadweight sitting lumpishly in my chest,

like a huge and stupid bird that won’t learn to fly,

quite easily.

You are waiting for me to buckle I know,

waiting for a tear to well and my throat to crack,

and an abject shaky apology to spill out

that you can replay to all your friends and family…

but it won’t happen.

Call me monster,

call me inhuman,

call me fiend.

I don’t deny it.

I struggled too long to hang the correct feelings on my face,

nailing them there with good intentions,

but it didn’t feel right and I could never deliver my lines without snickering

So instead I fed them to you and you lapped them up like a kitten at a cream bowl

and later screamed about gaslighting,

and your precious psyche,

and you know,

I don’t care.

I don’t care…

I never did really.

I created myself in my own image

and I am all the company I need.




I shuffle the cards and win all the hands and you shrug and say well, I took a chance

never realizing that my deck is all jokers,

and the coat of many colors you all so admire as I stride down the street

is stitched together from favors I have stolen.

Once procured they fade and like a crow I search again for the bright and glittering,

for trophies and conquests

loving the hunt and its adrenaline spike even if the end is already written;

the soft and tender throat turned up,

your drummer heart marking time 

while mine cools even more….

Why buy what you can command?

Why take what will be pressed upon you?

Why pay when you can strut that coin across your knuckles for a cheering crowd?



as if human was a commodity bought and sold on a street corner,

a badge,

an app.

I proclaim my heartlessness,

I revel in my self indulgence,

there is no mask upon this face.

And still you come,

with big pansy eyes,

and a coy, smiling certainty that you,

you and you alone,

can be the whetstone I am smoothed upon.

What fools these mortals be Puck proclaimed,

as do I,

for look how close to the bone I have cut 

and still never bled.

And I sat idly by and watched as all the lights I set were taken by the winds

and blown into wildfire. 



Monster monster…


But then…

why are you still here?

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When the earth buckles there is a slowing down moment
as if the air is stretched like too thin dough and you hear
the explosion before you see it.
The shock when the sparrowhawk hits, 
the wall of water when the wave breaks too soon,
the light bulb bursting you into the dark,
the stumbling turn when the earthquake grabs the floor under you and shakes it like an old rug,
and your senses lurch behind in a game of catch me if you can,
until the stretching moment ends and snaps back.
The hearing slams into your head with rocket force
and a strange gardens bloom only where you walk,
and you wonder,
what tilted the world?
And what righted it?
What is left to hold on to?
For the last time you grabbed a rope it nearly strangled you…
Is it less painful to stay splayed out on the ground?
To learn to be blind and burrow 
covering your face from the sky?
Or take a chance and stand to face the avalanche?
Which side of the apple to bite?
Which of the dark chests standing along your path
will yield gold
instead of slamming down,
will answer questions instead of maiming,
and are the signs along the way meant to guide or confuse?
Your poor head cannot keep up and so your other senses must rise to the occasion,
but that strange garden has bloomed some unquiet flowers
that no sane person bends to breathe in.
And an electrical storm hovers nearby, 
and the clocks are all gathering breath for their alarms,
and the hairs on your arm wave like seagrass
but you cannot pull a turtle shell over yourself and still see which undulating horizon to aim at.
And before the air thins once more,
you wonder if you will hear the shot before you feel it,
and if an arrow begs pardon for slamming into you.
Or if the moon keeps record of the light that leaves it in slices,
and if your garden will cover you in the end
with love,
or with something heavier.
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Happy Independence Day!




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The Cabaret of the Insane

Chimera Poetry


Sing loud sing louder
and kick one two
the cabaret of the insane welcomes you
no cover for our favorites
step right this way
your table is waiting
with multiple stages and plates already spinning
some hopeful companions are lingering nearby
all lipsticked and kohl’d and in costumes of feathers
and fur
don’t look too closely or you’ll see that no zipper runs up the back
sing loud sing louder
let the rooms fill with the madness of wine and music
to drown out the screams from the ones awakened
who find themselves not secure in crisp sheets
but on a stage where both greasepaint and blood flow
in fantastical designs
and the smoky air thrums with its own special power
as once again the cry goes up
sing loud sing even louder
for the dead are already awake
and this cabaret show goes on all night


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First issue July 2016. If you want to ensure you get one directly in future email me at andrew.sparke@blueyonder.co.uk

STOP PRESS: MORE THAN WORDS – Lee Benson, Andrew Sparke and friends – readings of verse and prose: Tuesday 12th July 7.30 – 9.30pm, The Blue Piano, Harborne Road, Birmingham B15 6AA (Near Fiveways – behind Morrisons)


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