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Scott Thomas Outlar is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He

now lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland. His work has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. More than 2,300 of his poems, essays, a

nd short stories have been published in 400 different literary venues in the USA and internationally. He guest-edited the Hope Anthology of Poetry from CultureCult Press as well as the 2019-2023 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. He is the author of seven books, including Songs of a Dissident (2015), Abstract Visions of Light (2018), Of Sand and Sugar (2019), and Evermore (2021 - written with co-author Mihaela Melnic). Selections of his poetry have been translated and published in Afrikaans, Albanian, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Cherokee, Dutch, French, Hindi, Italian, Kurdish, Malayalam, Persian, Serbian, and Spanish. He has been a weekly contributor at Dissident Voice for the past eight and a half years. More about Outlar's work can be found at




Art is not an institution…

it is an inner fire

born out of those

whose eyes pierce deeply

into hidden burning beauty.

Art is not a class taught by Academia…

it is a holy vibration

pulsing through the veins

of those who sense the truth

of this world’s perfect purity.

Art is not a transaction…

it is a soulful expression

that has no choice

but to be released

as a reflection of the Source.

Art is not a sales pitch…

it is an intense emotion

coupled with a vision

of crystalline transcendence

that ruptures open new dimensions.

Art is not yet ready for the grave…

it is a raging protest

against the mortal flesh

that sings the sweetest melody

about overcoming life’s suffering.



The vastness of your scope

as I stare into the sky

reveals itself here and there

with glimpses into the absolute glimmer,

yet the mystery remains ineffable

in a context beyond that which

my primitive consciousness can grasp,

and I’m beginning to understand

that the seduction of your existential aloofness

is part and parcel

to the inherent romance in this experience of life.

I cannot come to know you fully

in the spaces of my mind,

but I can feel you in my guts,

in my heart, in my veins,

through my blood, in my bones,

down to the marrow.

These two open eyes

cannot glean your greatness,

but when they are closed

I can see dimensions

beyond this physical plane of existence,

and I can sense the raw power

which pulses from your source

as it radiates outward

to be divined by those who truly seek.

The names which you have been called by

throughout the ages

mean nothing to me at this point –

simple words babbled from broken tongues

cannot capture the purity of your meaning;

it is your essence

to which I am addicted,

and I will never cease

reaching toward your unconditional love

until every urgent craving in my soul

has been satiated by your presence.



I consulted my stars

during a dry spell in the plains

they told me to lie down in the grass

make a blanket of the leaves

told me to build a fire

in the season when the sky grows cold

told me age is just a number

until it kills you

warm in the bones where the ache melts

told me the trees will always love you

but they alone cannot protect from the storm

told me that even saints will cheat

when they’re trying to save the soul of a sinner

told me clocks of time are just illusions

so add another hour when you’re feeling slow

I spoke to my ghosts

in the night with the moon hung low

they told me every choice leads to another

but don’t forget to breathe



We’re all looking

for something better

than what we are;

something deeper

than what we’ve felt;

something stronger

than what we’ve sensed;

something more honest

than what we’ve

been telling ourselves;

something more steady;

something more calm;

something more real

than what we’ve experienced;

something that never

winds up hurting us

in the end;

something sweet

that isn’t addictive;

something alive

that doesn’t die on us;

something powerful

that never loses its grace;

something that never runs dry;

something that never talks back;

something that comforts us

when we are hurting;

something that understands

the existential pain;

something that does not lack

in the moments

when we need it most;

something that is brave

when we are full of fear;

something that fits the bill;

something that naturally

smiles for the camera

without having to fake any cheese;

something rich without pretension;

something high without a kite.

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