This chimaerical literary miscellany, like its eponymous beastly emblem, appears quite seldom; but is, we hope, well worth the pursuit. Body and soul of poetry, with extensions into prose fiction, critical prose, and anything else that might catch the editors’ attention — we strive to engender Chimaeras which, within their compact compass, invoke varied and unexpected matter. We think this eighth issue of The Chimaera maintains that philosophy: the fabulous beast leaping and bounding here and there, across conceptual mountain slopes and down into valleys which seem well-mapped, but which, surprisingly, perhaps reveal a different light; or sometimes our chimaerical beast romps into strange, unfamiliar territory, stretching our boundaries into new fields of thought.
Our featured poet, Les Murray, is himself an extraordinary mixture of qualities, an inspired gallimaufry of a man, unexpected but true. From the matrix of his unique and various mind springs forth a language that is both simple and yet astoundingly complex: the language that is his poetry. It’s unmistakable: what he writes could be uttered by no one else, because it is the manifestation of his own amazingly rich linguistic universe. The Chimaera is pleased to present an interview with Les Murray, together with a selection of his poetry, some previously published, some published for the first time. More new poetry by Les Murray can also be found in The Chimaera’s tiny sister-publication, The Flea (look in the Author Index here http://www.the-flea.com/AuthorIndex.html ); and both venues hope to publish more of Les in future issues. Australian poets Geoff Page and Alan Gould have contributed thoughts on Les Murray’s latest book, Taller When Prone, and the inimitable John Whitworth regales us with his own tales of Les, in which some surprising details are revealed.
The Chimaera’s General section presents the work of fourteen composers of prose and verse, who, between them cover an astounding range of subjects and perspectives: from Mary Byrne’s ‘Collinses Bus’ rumbling off from Ballybay, to Ziad Suidan’s grappling with the problems and subtleties of translating very different poetic and linguistic mentalités from the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish.
And that’s before we even get to the micro/macro-cosmic Life, the Universe, and Everything! The themed section takes The Chimaera’s helter-skelter and elusive scamper beyond, out there, into some bizarre but entertaining places. Our inventive authors have once again adorned The Chimaera with outstanding contributions: new constellations set into our starry heavens.
This issue of The Chimaera appeared at its own sweet will, and no man kens when the next beast might materialise, or in what form, or speaking with what flickering tongues of flame. Come for a run now, then: a cross-country run — a cross-Universe run — with The Chimaera! Who knows where the chase might lead?
Editor: Paul Stevens
Co-editor: Peter Bloxsom
Artist/Photographer: Patricia Wallace Jones
Paul Stevens was born in Yorkshire, but lives in Australia where he teaches Literature. He has published poetry and prose widely in pixel and print. He also edits The Flea metaphysicalzine.
Peter Bloxsom is a freelance writer and web developer. His articles, fiction, reviews, essays, humour, poems and other writings have appeared in print and online. He edits 14 by 14, the lean sonnet zine.
Patricia Wallace Jones is an artist, poet, and retired disability advocate. More of her artwork can be seen at: http://imagineii.typepad.com/imagineii/.