Scott Thomas Outlar

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 

Casting Cards

I wouldn’t dare
call myself a poet
or an artist/or a warrior
or a fighter/or a servant/or a stoic
or a fool
I’m just a hermit and a vagabond
going within so I can wander
but these pines work well as bones
sturdy long enough to carry the hour
and all this dirt will eventually receive
the same returns of what once was offered
profit every whisper of groaning breath
pilfer specks of sand from six scratched eyes
protect the black of my lungs/
                                      tongue with glazed amber
Harvest the autumn
red leaves sign caution
blood in the engine
ghosts crawling through dry veins
Spells cast the season
cold snap of reason
heavy pulse turn plasma
gears shifting beneath the plates

Shake Loose

Consciousness needs novelty
otherwise stagnation atrophies
and I’ve been stuck
in a rut for days/weeks/
               oh no
               w/the oh woe
               is me stuff
               that violin
               plucks the tiniest
               of egos
Obsession needs compulsion
to shutter static from the system
and I’ve been banging
my head against the wall/rocks/
               oh please
               not the disease
               of sad lament
               that tongue
               spits the bitterest
               taste of acid


Gut Reaction

If it’s alive, it’s electric
If dead, the crows
will have pecked
out its eyes by now
If perishable, you can tell
by the general disposition
Seaweed and blue-green algae
sway my heart
Salt water fills my throat
conductive during cayenne’s fever
A fire came to me in dreams
torched the terrain of my intestines
Left a seed of hope through shame
judged my weaker actions lacking
If it’s alive, it’s magnetic
If gone, the ghosts
will soon voice
the haunting season
If sustainable, you can weep
but the clock keeps ticking

Watchful Eyes

Death, not as a friend, a thief,
a snatcher of time, of life’s could-have-beens
Death as what if
          behind the mask fashioned of bark
          alone with the pines
Death in all its guises, a trickster,
                    patient in silent repose

Apples & Owls at Midnight (Part ?)

I would sing
       (behind the curtains
               as an encore)
    one final song
           (w/ripened fruit
                falling from my tongue)
        before I’m done
& whistle
            all the suffering
                 (leave suffrage
                         in the past
                             w/empty bags [forgiven
                                                in full)
               & hum a melody
                    (expanded frequency/
                            vibration in key [kingdom
                                                 found within {& heaven too/
                                                                          Atlantis thrice}])
                                   risen through magic
                                                & miracles
                                                        (atop Mount Olympus
                                                                w/the one true
                                                                      God [Elohim {or any
                                                                                 of splendor}]
                                                                             blessing the symphony
                                                                                  in wonder)
I would shout
     w/the birds
           in chorus
             (praise Christ
                  Consciousness [& conscience])
          & glorify
               the Word of Creation
      by taking new
                                (magnified to manifest)
                    for evolution
                             (in lockstep
                                     w/the light/
                                          the truth/
                                          the way) 

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