Written by Scott Thomas Outlar
Is the process of creating art ultimately just the aim toward bringing about the complete annihilation of consciousness? Perhaps. I'll explore the theory more after the war is over, but for now let's just live life like a Zen bomb through every present moment (here-and-now) offensive act. Black lungs smoke the flak, but during fits of masochistic wanderlust there is found the sweetest high. Every battle in the trenches brands its fair share of junkies. We just want to lick clean the throne of God and spit shine all the little sins that fall from heaven along the way. It's a hell of a start, but who do we turn to from here, if not the archons of blind rampage? Discovering all that which is comforting in the soul's darkest moments. The seizures of conscience. The overthrow of decency. What they call, in certain circles, a revolution. And this one really got on top of us. So just look to the stars and spin.
Poetry was conceived with crystals, gestated in primordial ooze, was born far below the waves, took its first breath while the radio hummed, learned to crawl in fuzzy black-and-white, began to walk in HD, started sprinting through 3rd dimension, came in contact with New Atlantis, adapted with every crank of the wheel; always has, always will. Poetry is dedicated to those who came before and left lights on along the way. Poetry caught dreams in its web, wove visions over the land, kept a pact with the Great Rhythm. Poetry wears its past lightly, dances naked in the sun, will be ash again one day.
Poetry saw the future, decided karma was too hot to handle, wrapped it all up in layers of digestible mythos. Poetry likes to peek behind your curtains, dig through your drawers, and expose all your secrets. Poetry is a political trigger, a psychological war, a primal roar for restoration. Poetry digs the way you lick your lips when there is magic pulsing in your eyes. Poetry crisscrossed at the zigzag; it came out clean in the climax. Poetry was compared to prose, and it rejoined: I suppose.
What I enjoy most about poetry, is its subjective nature and how it can bring forth the uniqueness of each individual writer's style.
Whatever the form might be, whether it's rhyming couplets or iambic pentameter or romantic sonnets or political diatribes or spiritual manifestos or free verse ramblings or lyrical explorations or stream of consciousness ideas being poured into a journal entry, poetry offers a direct line of connection into the heart, mind, and soul of whoever is attempting to express their distinctive voice. There is no right or true way to go about the process, no lines of boundaries that must be walked inside of. In that way, poetic license offers the key to color outside the geometric confines of convention. Being free in such a manner allows an artist to tap into the source of their own intuition. This can spark inspiration and creative energies, unlocking the doors of imagination. Writing a poem is like catching lightning in a bottle, capturing the flash of a moment as it's in motion. It is like taking a picture of a sudden scene in flux, encapsulating the energy and emotion that erupt from inspiration by producing a snapshot in time. Poetry is the portal that helps us burst through the ordinary experiences of everyday life, transforming the mundane moments into magical journeys of consciousness. We don't have to be literal in our interpretations of poetry. It's an expansive style of art that allows the mind of the reader to explore any avenue of interpretation they deem fit. The possibilities are, indeed, limitless.
I had a strong hunch from the time I was a small child about what my destination in life would ultimately prove to be. Once I finally figured out that every detour along the way teaches a valuable lesson, the path forward became instantaneously clear. I learned years ago how to shake off damnation like a dog in the rain. I have danced with shamans in the storm. They looked like wild geese and spoke in tongues directly to the center of my lungs with a salve of sacred saliva. I have shed seventeen masks off the face of my false perceptions. Now I walk with shoulders straight and serene confidence toward the shining dream being heralded by fate.
If an alien from Alpha Centauri were to drop anchor and set up shop for a weekend getaway here on earth (or suddenly materialize from some alternate dimension of reality's simulation) just as the trees, bushes, and flowers were simultaneously exploding into full spring fruition, would the creature understand how lovely and beautiful such a scene truly was? Would it even notice the bright bursts of yellow, red, purple, orange and green? Or having never seen the bare branches and frozen tundra during a harsh, cold winter, would it simply assume that the current fortuitous conditions it's observing upon arrival are how the world always appears? Do we require an acquired perception of alternate angles of the equation in order to grok the absurdist implications of life and its ever-changing rhythmic patterns? How can you understand the cycle if you've yet to complete an entire spin? And so, too, if we were perpetually elevated in a state of utter happiness and contentment, would we even have an inkling of what feeling this great gift of bliss truly represented? Or, so that these peak states of enlightenment are not taken for granted, must we go through certain stages of suffering before truly being able to comprehend and appreciate the moments of peace and pleasure in all their magnitude? Art is the lens through which we can perceive the contrasting nature between polar opposites while trying to make sense of both the exaltations and agonies associated with being sentient conscious beings sporting a conscience. As Joseph Campbell was wont to advise, we can "participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world." It is the great affirmation of saying Yes to the process as it unfolds, despite the woes that will inevitably be encountered along the way.
If the soul willfully chooses to incarnate in this experience of 3D reality as some type of karmic journey, with there being so much agony and angst inherent in life, why would it decide to continually return? Have you ever tasted a ripe mango? Or felt the signs of synchronicity shared with a lover when you're both aligned with the Holy Spirit Vibration? Or sensed the kundalini buzz when all the bodily organs are clean and electrically charged? Or giggled at the sight of the dawning sun? Or danced and howled in tongues under a full moon? If so, you will probably already stumbled happily upon the answer.
As the birds sing and nest this season, as the vegetation flourishes in majestic wonder, as the heron stands stoically in the pond's shallows waiting for a fish to swallow, as the turtles bathe in the sun, as the squirrels and chipmunks frolic, as the crickets come awake in a symphonic chorus, and even as the venomous cottonmouth makes an unexpected appearance in the middle of the park's path under a starry sky in the midnight hour to send a shiver of adrenaline up and down the spine...well, as the shirt commences, I am thankful.
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. 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 14 languages. He has been a weekly contributor at Dissident Voice for the past eight and a half years. More about Outlaw's work can be found at 17Numa.com
Selah, Scott Thomas Outlar