Scott Thomas Outlar

 Strip the Gilded
Urgency in your (impulsive)
                         methods of transgression
                    (faltering/declined transactions)
       see just how
                flying off the (cuffed) handle
          leaves us backwards
                        from where we started
Aggression in your (silent)
                           lack of observations
                    (obstinate/scaredy-cat stubbornness)
          careful not to cut
                 too deep in (captured) organs
              though there’s no threat of such
                         if you forget to finger keys
There is a world
          (life is full
                  & more wealthy
              than simple riches
                        will ever offer)
       that exists outside
                      the cages
           (can you not break free
                    & smash beyond?)
               of fear
                     you choose to be trapped within
                                    (& rip this heart
                                              wide open)

Fault Lines
I run my hand
across your skeleton key;
finger the wounds
where secrets are stored.
I hold your image high
during fits of ecstasy;
lose my balance
with each schism and tremor.
I carve your golden name
into tree bark with rust;
silence the palpitations
of an organ grown weary.
I lick what is left
after your cup runs dry;
lament in the night
over what never was born.

Dark in the belly of hunger
A way out
of the whale
waiting in slumber
Watery wombs and tombs
between us
Winter masks/summer shades
quiet desperation
Holding our breath
as lungs fill/collapse
The final fall
hits (hurts) hardest
Black in the night of no moon
A new taste
of the silence
promises of smoke
Eyes with specks and beams
that blind us
Autumn tears/springtime gasps
ring hollow
Biting our tongues
as blood flows/fails
The ancient smile
slips (snaps) loudest

Scott Thomas Outlar lives and writes in the suburbs outside of Atlanta, Georgia. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He was a recipient of the 2017 Setu Mag Award for Excellence in the field of literature. Selections of his poetry have been translated into Afrikaans, Albanian, Dutch, Farsi, French, Italian, Kurdish, and Serbian. His podcast, Songs of Selah, airs weekly on 17Numa Radio. More about Outlar’s work can be found at


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