We eat your words

Poem of the Week: ‘Ain’t That Sweet’ by Scott Thomas Outlar

This week saw a record number of budding writers enter out poetry contest and the competition has never been tighter. After plenty of debate, the panel managed to choose our three favourites and the overall Poem of the Week.

 

3rd Place

‘The Idealist’ by Jita Susan Jacob

The idealist set out

on unexplored waters

accompanied by

orphaned questions,

tacit answers.

Yes, the idealist set out

treading the unbeaten path,

the end nowhere in sight.

 

The idealist will persist,

seemingly never to glance back,

bearing

sketchy assurances, unchased dreams

tossing caution to the winds.

Did the heart miss a beat?

Did time stand still

in a moment of uncertainty

when the decision was made?

Yet, the idealist will persist.

All doubts that lingered

in an indecisive turmoil

will be camouflaged by a

brave smile flared by

unreasonable optimism,

love of the unknown,

insistence of a mind

that couldn’t rest,

that slowly withered away

in familiar grounds.

 

The idealist will return home.

For there comes a time when

the unknown demands to be defined,

reason can no longer wait in the shadows,

familiarity entices.

Yes, the idealist will return

to the comfort of the harbour.

 

Will the idealist set sail again?

Won’t the ransom for freedom be paid?

 

2nd Place

‘On the Eve of Love’ by Brandon Marlon

Gloaming light finds me

weary, taken aback

by dubious symptoms.

Control, wily deserter,

forsakes me; within the haze

I find myself overrun

by invasive scintillas

saturating thews and veins,

seeping into fiber, pore, follicle.

I writhe and cringe at another’s whim,

quiver, gasp, tingle,

astonished to note everything grey

suffers abrupt rupture.

I recognize this for what it is.

Curious occurrence, dreadful ordeal,

a refined, sinister sugar

coating tomorrow’s gall.

You again! Nostrum at worst,

at best rigmarole,

debonair yet feral,

a Bengal tiger in a tuxedo.

Sure, you’d think nothing

of toying with a singed vestige,

setting one adrift on honeyed creeks,

full sail down folly’s stream,

headlong toward ecstasy

or irreparable ruin.

Subdued as I may be,

let us come to reasoned terms;

survivor’s privilege requires as much.

No more placeholder flames

for me, if you please:

kindle me with only the scarcest fire.

 

1st Place

‘Ain’t That Sweet’ by  Scott Thomas Outlar

Exhaustion sets in,

testing the limits on my morality,

as I’d rather

suck out the soul of my sins

for an easy fix of energetic salvation

than put the steadfast work in

that could honestly get me back to God

where I’d sit pretty

on the right side of the ornamented throne.

Fuck no, not right now, not in this tired condition,

when I’d rather

stick the swine with a dagger to the side,

bleed the pig, rip the hog asunder,

and feast

on the flesh

of all the damned spirits

that were driven into the sea.

I’ll dive in after,

swallow the ocean whole, and

suffocate to the point of asphyxiation

just to get a little high

on the most rarefied form of alchemical combustion

that flows beneath the waves of the murky depths.

I’d suck dry the shadows

just to bleed the light to death.

I’d fill the needle with mercury and cancer

just to inoculate an entire generation into a coma.

I’d piss on the grave of the State

just so it’d drown and resurrect stronger

with a Nietzschean will to power

that slaughters the minds of all those

who are still innocent enough to care

about trying to fight the system.

I’d shove my tongue down the throat of the Beast

and lick clean the toxic kidneys, the bloated liver,

the calcified glands, and the ruptured spleen.

I’d sink my teeth into reason

and burst logic’s bubble

so that all hope for clarity and sense

scattered across the four winds of chaos.

I’d slit the wrist of faith

and fuck it down the drain

in a whiplash dive

to the undertow apocalypse.

I’d silence the sound of laughter

with a zero-point trigger finger

itchy with a patience that long ago

ran out of fuel for compromise.

I’d…exhaust myself

of all the angst

until a glimmer of peace

pushed and pulsed

up through the muck and shit

to reveal a rose

budding on the far side,

springing into new life,

changing every dead vibe,

and bringing me back home…

to Source, to Truth, to God, to Light.

Want to take part in next week’s jam? Be sure to check out the Poem of the Week page here and send any poems to [email protected] before the 23rd of March to take part.

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