The Outsider

“The Outsider”, “The Fault Finders” and “We Fill”

In Poetry by Billy Malanga

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The Outsider

It is either/or, spiritual/material,
sophisticated antique compliance
or young blind revolution.
These are the two polar lenses
of today. But, somewhere in the middling
an abandoned outsider pawns both positions
with such stark irresponsibility,
willfully acknowledging his blunders
greeting shadow and copper light,
as those around him hide behind shrouds,
his way is much different.


The Fault Finders

If I am broken, I did it.
If my world is burning all around me,
I lit the match.
If I fixed everything and got myself square,
I did it. If you’re looking for me
to help you fix your soul, forget it.
I can’t put out the fire that you started.
Responsibility does bizarre things to people.
Blame your spouse, your boss,
blame your teammates, or blame your parents.
The more I look into the fire I recognize
an endless system. When fields burn
people get left behind.
There is disorder and there will continue
to be disorder. Irrationality will slap you
across the face.
It’s up to you to walk through the fire
that boils your eyes. It is you. It is up to you
to take the gamble, to go inside the hellhole
where you may not return,
that is where your story is.


We Fill

We fill jobs
We fill blanks
We fill pigs
We fill tanks

We fill screens
We fill guts
We fill glasses
We fill mutts

We fill prisons
We fill rooms
We fill factories
We fill tombs

What am I doing here?

About the Author

Billy Malanga

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