"Three Chambers of the Hippo," "Into Further Temptation," and "A Patient Path by Subtle Degree"

Three Chambers of the Hippo

A song, of a sudden,
      rang out from the belfry
  on a Saturday morning
                   in Frederick
A chaotic design
         that sounded as if
    it had been spliced together
                 by an eagerly ambitious
                          yet still overly
                impressionable generation
           of AI
& who else hears
       this mad sound
                  of clanging/conspiring
            mechanical dissonance?
The park is popping
    with life
       on an otherwise calm &
               cloudy scene
but I bet
      (my last wishing penny)
   the first sign of the sun
           will awaken
              & welcome
     twelve prodigal gods
              back to the table
          to bargain
                  for antique discounts
The greatest show/simulation/con
                on earth
fit to form
with bread,
butter, & wine
all the seductive
accoutrements & appetizers
blueprinted in the code
to fatten your flesh
for the feast of the beast
& soften your mind
      the same as marrow
          in a



Into Further Temptation

demon &/or
      just another voice
                 in Plato’s head
          screaming from the rafters
                           while the rest
               of the mad choir
      screws around in the cheap seats
                  gather about
               & behold
                       the great undoing/becoming
             that’s the way
                                the cookie
                                           always cracks up
                       leaving (leavened) breadcrumbs
                                             strewn along the path



A Patient Path by Subtle Degree

Four white swans
melancholic in the shallows
little unicorn souls
neon snowflake tincture
for the sum
of five lost ages
in the sun
six spent sirens
and seven spirals careening empty
The assimilation
of life’s seemingly
discordant aspects
into a cohesive whole
is like unto
brewing a medicinal spell
to release on the new moon
and when the cards are turned
to reveal a peaceful moment
spark your spirit
to the rhythm
of an orderly vibration
humming electric
from magnetic spheres
dancing geometric patterns
swirling in shapes, manifesting form
All the mushrooms and flowers
and herbs and trees that I
have no names for
hold my imagination
in the life grip of hope
but if chaos remains
your favorite tonic
then carry your piece to the stars
and howl by night in lamentation
I listen instead
to the song of the whales
ringing sacred
at the yawning abyss
music’s inside aquatic source
mouth stuffed with salted pearls
pink fish and red eyes
Wim Hof secures deep breaths in place
my silver thread untethered
lucid along the path of turtles



Scott Thomas Outlar

Scott Thomas Outlar originally hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He now resides and writes in Frederick, Maryland. His work has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He guest-edited the Hope Anthology of Poetry from CultureCult Press as well as the 2019-2023 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. Selections of his poetry have been translated and published in 15 languages. He has been a weekly contributor at Dissident Voice for the past ten years. More about Outlar's work can be found at 17Numa.com.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, June 24, 2024 - 21:04