PROLOGUE

Bleed for me

rupture your peace, freedom and dreams

war begins with hate

 

© elancharan

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The Neighbor

She waved at me from across the street

with her flabby arms, like she was in a parade.

There was no candy at my feet. She was still

in her slippers, we didn’t need each other

just the gesture. She had everything she needed,

water, shelter, food, and heat.

Long ago the natives depended on each other

for survival. Now, she with her kind and me

with mine, we look good on paper downtown.

Hell, I don’t even know her but we have watched

each other’s movements for sixteen years now.

Perhaps we will meet?

It’s a quiet street, no outlaw’s just sparrows

and squirrels that watch for hawks. We don’t need

each other for safety, for trading whiskey, furs,

guns or gold dust. The ground doesn’t rumble today.

My lever action collects rust.

We have become bells that ring only when things

go wrong. We are somewhere between apathy and ape

alienated by the white lines in the street.

We will never go into the hills on buffalo kills,

we will never watch the wolves run with jaws full of

red daggers from a dark cave.

Sunset falls bitterly late. I don’t blame her any longer,

we are as enduring as stones.

We will never meet.

 

Bio:

Billy 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 Ibis Head Review, Cold Creek Review, Dime Show Review, Rat’s Ass Review, Spindrift Art/Literary Journal, and at The Naga.org. He currently lives in Urbana, IL.

© Billy Malanga

YOU LIVE MORE THAN ONCE

You live more than once, you live more than once, just as this statement, that is going be to repeated inside your head, you live more than once, you never live only once, and if you live only once, then you have never lived life at all, so fuck the YOLO statement and live more than once, you get to live more than once, more than ever, you need to live life to its end, take it all in, the good, the bad, the mad, you were given a life to live more than once, you live more than once and if possible you’d live forever…

 

© elancharan

HOW WAS YOUR DAY?

All you have to do is reach out and ask, hey, how was your day, have you eaten, what’s going on, you can talk to me and that’s all it takes to make your day a little better, we sometimes forget that we are creatures with emotions who need that touch or voice to lift our spirits up, we’re social, we thrive in communities, independent as we are, we need love, care and encouragement, if not all the time, we could all use a little of each other.

© elancharan

YOU ARE ALL I NEED

I don’t need anything from you, the fucking world is still backwards, when you love a woman, you love her for who she is, not for her wealth, not for the amount of dowry she carries with her over to your house, not for how she is going to pleasure with gifts and sex, I want you, not the gossiping poisonous mouths of your relatives, the vicious stares of strangers, I don’t need a stage and priest to fucking proclaim to the world that you are my wife, I don’t need anything from you, come as you are, come as you be, take my hand and let us walk down this mad life together, I don’t need anything from you my dear, in this fucking world, you are all I need…

 

© elancharan

GENERATION WOW

It’s in our blood, don’t blame us millenials and youths for not wanting to stick to a job for three to four decades of our lives, we don’t seek pleasure in boredom, we don’t see fun in normality, we want to travel, we want to see, we want to know what makes the world tick, we want to break boundaries, we want to go beyond flesh and language, good or bad, we want to experience the craze of this planet, please don’t stop us, please don’t put us down, we need to know, we will bear the consequences of our actions, you have enough on your shoulders, so let us be, let us be…

© elancharan