Iron mouths smiled with teeth of rust and blood,
while Katharion waited,
with hinges so black and doomful.
On amethystine nights, there collected
a mass of death and pride as the armies of tomorrow
rotted and decayed on fields of someday.
Old bones, so gray and dusty,
withered under shadows aghast,
expelled from garish, crooked towers,
while Katharion waited;
where cities fell, banners wilted in the crimson moonlight,
and history too passed with a bloody chime,
the gates finally shut and Katharion remained.
Clouded by murk and mania of a world unchanged by war’s ebullience or famine’s hunger,
nothing constrained the oxidizing madness of battle.
Even when the old dream-palaces above crumbled into ruinous thought, where stars soon died
and all was dark and empty,
nothing stayed the laughter of iron mouths
with teeth of rust and blood,
and Katharion remained.

Originally published in Weird Tales Magazine #366, Sword and Sorcery Issue (2022)

Maxwell I. Gold is a Jewish American multiple award nominated author who writes prose poetry and short stories in weird fiction. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines including WeirdTales Magazine, Space and Time Magazine, Startling Stories, Strange Horizons, Tales from OmniPark Anthology, Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas and more. 

He’s the author of the Elgin Award nominated Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose from Crystal Lake Publishing and co-author of Mobius Lyrics with Angela Yuriko Smith from Independent Legions. 

He lives in Ohio with his partner and two dogs, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Horror Writers Association as the organization’s Treasurer.

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This poem is featured on today’s episode of SPILLING THE INK along with special guest Amy Zoellers who will bedazzle us with all she managed to accomplish last year in her zero to 100 poetry career last year.

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By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), producer of the Exercise Your Writes YouTube podcast, two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She shares a weekly calendar of author opportunities at

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