Two Poems

Alms of Ouroboros

Those politics

will eat you for breakfast

and leave the empty plate

smeared with grease

That’s not God in your needle

That’s not love in your message

That’s not virtue in your stained glass

That’s not power in your eyes

I can see you

the same way I

can see straight through myself

just another tail

chasing itself

around the cycle

we have suffered

and survived before

Mounds of dirt

vials of blood

bones and ash

piled atop the earth

Anthills

Molehills

Kingdoms

Fiefdoms

Empires

are all

sooner or later

eventually

kissed by their sacrifices

and smashed

by the hands of time

That’s not gold in your teeth

That’s not love in your mission

That’s not honor in your oilfields

This is not your reaping of wheat

Empty Pages

Poetry followed by philosophy

read on the back porch

as the birds squawk

and the hawks attack

just as it has always been

Perceptions on the surface

may seem temporary and tangible

as they change and shift

with the turning of the seasons

but at the core

all is still

all is silent

all is one

which is to say

all is nothing and everything and neither

I was twenty years old

laying on the couch in the dark

I took a breath

and am thirty-eight

the same book in my hands

the same old story

under the sun

under the clouds

Where did the time go?

Vanished in the space between

there to here, then to now

it was all one point

which is to say

there was no point

except the points

I don’t recall

I’ve forgotten more

than I ever learned

if that’s possible

everything is possible

nothing is possible

every stone has been looked under

every stone remains untouched

or maybe I

just never learned

how to learn

what needed to be learned

to understand the point

that there is no point

I was ten years old

lying in bed in the dark

staring at the void within

terrified of the empty space

I took a breath

and am thirty-eight

there was never a void

there is only a void

The birds know

what the bees know

what the heart knows

what I have never known

what I have always known

that I will never know

that I will never learn

the same book in my hands

the same as it has always been


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 sixth collection of poetry, Of Sand and Sugar, was released in 2019 through Cyberwit. Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.com where episodes of his radio podcast, Songs of Selah, can be found.

Barzakh Mag