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 guest-edited the 2019 and 2020 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. Selections of his poetry have been translated into Afrikaans, Albanian, Bengali, Dutch, French, Italian, Kurdish, Persian, Serbian, and Spanish. His sixth book, Of Sand and Sugar, was released in 2019. His podcast, Songs of Selah, airs weekly on 17Numa Radio and features interviews with contemporary poets, artists, musicians, and health advocates. More about Outlar’s work can be found at

Warning Labels

I’ve learned
 most of the lessons
 on how to feel numb
 and suffered
 the fallout
 when spells break
 just to survive
 in an age 
 of locusts and plagues
 cast me gently
 unto the moon’s
 violent waves
 judge all our gods
 under the microscope
 to steal a cure
 from the fine print
 not every script
 is practiced to a T 

Phase Shift

 Lyrics have more sting in a crisis
 heart craving extra oomph
 I’ll weep with you for us and this
 but only while the moment’s passing
 because promises of beauty still
 hold ships afloat from the far side
 Mourning doves herald the light
 wear your secrets close to skin
 I’ll sing with you through thick and thin
 babble across the darkest chasm 


 How many viruses sour your verses
 secret vowels, corrupted vials
 spent coding
 This is not the God you promised
 nor the war I begged
 but all in all
 it’s still a beautiful
 to be alive 

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