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Editor’s Note: This poem was commissioned to be a companion and friend to the poem “The Mismanagement of Stars” by Holly Day.

Content warning:

I saw a dark planet below, covered in desperate primordia, soon to be swallowed with brilliant, glowing ambition. So much changed over the course of centuries, a galactic mismanagement that transformed the night into a beautiful mosaic, glittering with light where the constellations found themselves befuddled by these new glowing cities.

This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light which bled with water and color across a floating dirt clod in the vacuum of space. Still, I couldn’t help but smile where the old sailors once journeyed with drunken boats and crinkled parchment while I guided them across dark waters. They weren’t the only ones though, my friends, so numerous in culture and life who bled and bowed through the ages until like the webs of night they grew under me with a burgeoning, industrial desire where the stars became theirs; a map by which their future was ne’er confined to the old gods of fate.

And so my friends forever saw the happy moon and new stars as their companions while they craned towards an endless expanse, pondering the dreams of someday when and what if …

Maxwell I. Gold is a Rhysling and Pushcart award nominated prose poet who writes weird and cosmic horror. His work has appeared in Weirdbook Magazine, Space and Time Magazine, Startling Stories, and many others. Maxwell has published over 100 prose poems and short stories since 2017.
Current Issue
22 Apr 2024

We’d been on holiday at the Shoon Sea only three days when the incident occurred. Dr. Gar had been staying there a few months for medical research and had urged me and my friend Shooshooey to visit.
For a long time now you’ve put on the shirt of the walls,/just as others might put on a shroud.
Tu enfiles longuement la chemise des murs,/ tout comme d’autres le font avec la chemise de la mort.
The little monster was not born like a human child, yelling with cold and terror as he left his mother’s womb. He had come to life little by little, on the high, three-legged bench. When his eyes had opened, they met the eyes of the broad-shouldered sculptor, watching them tenderly.
Le petit monstre n’était pas né comme un enfant des hommes, criant de froid et de terreur au sortir du ventre maternel. Il avait pris vie peu à peu, sur la haute selle à trois pieds, et quand ses yeux s’étaient ouverts, ils avaient rencontré ceux du sculpteur aux larges épaules, qui le regardaient tendrement.
We're delighted to welcome Nat Paterson to the blog, to tell us more about his translation of Léopold Chauveau's story 'The Little Monster'/ 'Le Petit Monstre', which appears in our April 2024 issue.
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