Insomnia by Scott Thomas Outlar

I stared

at red digits

on the alarm clock

for months,

slowly going crazy

as I tried to fall asleep.

I turned around in the bed,

trying to find respite

down at the foot board.

I read books trying to become drowsy,

but wound up ripping them apart and

smashing them into walls

when the effort proved futile.

I left the red digits behind

as I moved into another empty room

and tried to sleep in the bed there.

My mind kept bending, contorting,

edging out nearer to the abyss.

It must have cracked at some point while

all alone in that house

with no sleep at night for months on end,

only here and there

catching a few winks during daylight hours.

It was a nasty time in my life.

I think I was insane for a while,

but, being alone, it is difficult to say for sure.

It was an awful experience,

full of sadness, anger, Crown Royal,

and suicidal depression.

It was a rock bottom hell pit.

I don’t remember how or when,

but eventually it must have ended.

I think that is basically

how life always happens.
Photo by cottonbro studio on

About the Poet:

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 Outlar’s work can be found at


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