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Billy Malanga

BillyMBilly Malanga (M.S. in Criminal Justice) is a first generation college graduate, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and the grandson of Italian immigrants. He played college football and worked for many years in a state prison system. All of these influences have undeniably shaped his way of thinking about his art. His poetry reveals his small victories and also his struggles in redefining masculinity in an effort to better understand the beauty and brutality of the world around him. His recent poetry has been published or is forthcoming in: The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature; The Creativity Webzine, The Write Launch; Ghostwoods Books, Picaroon Poetry; The New Thoreau Quarterly Review; Wraparound South Literary Journal; Adelaide Literary Magazine; The Ibis Head Review; Cold Creek Review; Dime Show Review; Rat’s Ass Review; Spindrift Art/Literary Journal, The, and he was Featured Reader at Urbana, Illinois (poetry) readings.

The Lips Know Heat Comes From Fire

The lips know heat comes from fire,
deep within the vein. Inflamed cinders spin;
fireflies swirl on nightfall’s desire.

Branded flesh and needs conspire,
pounding hearts want a firing pin.
The lips know heat comes from fire.

Barbed wire won’t stop smoking gunfire.
Pull; pull your pin, until the carillon rings.
Fireflies swirl on nightfall’s desire.

It’s the burning that takes you higher.
Soldiers with wings memorize these things.
The lips know heat comes from fire.

Blisters triggered from madness transpire,
when love’s red siren falls worshiping.
Fireflies swirl on nightfall’s desire.

Bright stars announce and the heavens admire
those who don’t hide sparks under the skin.
The lips know heat comes from fire.
Fireflies swirl on nightfall’s desire.

Plastic Flowers

If I am broken, I did it.
If my world is burning
around me, I lit the match.
If I got squared away,
I cleaned it up.
If you’re looking for me
to help you fix yourself
forget it. I would need a month
to recover from the smell
of bullshit and bleach.
Blame your parents,
blame your job,
blame your siblings,
blame your spouse,
I’ve done that too.
Only plastic flowers
stay peacock blue.

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