February 7-13, 2000: Melissa Consiglio and Shane Jones

week of February 7-13, 2000

Melissa Consiglio and Shane Jones

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Melissa Consiglio


Bio (auto)

My name is Melissa Consiglio; anthropology student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL with aspirations to be a forensic scientist

The following work is Copyright © 2000, and owned by Melissa Consiglio and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Seven Coin Tuesday

It’s a
cowardly blue,
seven coin Tuesday
My underwear mixes
with your workshirt,
gray with gray,
the white on your nametag
alreadly bled into Ten million dollars
wouldn’t erase the burn of it
off your chest:
an ego red
with the mere reminder
that you live a nametag existance
Laundromat soap
washes the sober and drunk alike,
the deaf and dumb,
young and numb I’m
the only former prom queen
in the joint, minus tiara The rest
are my secret competitors,
losing a pageant
they never knew they entered
to the housedress-ed woman
in and out once a week
(the same way you
race unknowing drivers at
stop lights, ignorant of
your vow
to make them eat dirt)
I linger in the doorway,
one-sided conversations with God
battling a static radio God doesn’t have a
chance to win out
before I have to surrender more
quarters Idly, I wonder what
sex would be like
on a strip of
active washers, the cost
of half an hour,
and the spin cycle metaphor
too easy to use You won’t step foot in here,
missing out
on the tangle of
voices and humming,
most especially the way
the third machine
needs an angry hip to operate
It’s not me you’re ashamed of;
rusting in here
like a car on cinderblocks,
half hidden by dirt
and weeds daring to touch
ribs It’s the look of me instead,
a discount store icon
(mailorder bride?)
lugging a laundry basket down
the street
in barely-there flipflops My inhale-exhale action
begs to be broken of you
It’s not as tragic as you make it,
only three degrees of regrettable Apathy infects like a virus:
smiling at you
from the porthole window of
the dryer, 
face pressed
against the glass,
expressionless and drunk on pity,
chasing you at
60 rpms
I’m how you feel at the end of
the day,
a cowardly blue
seven coin Tuesday.

Bedside Mess

Bedside mess:
water glass, half full
for your optimist face and mouth;
without the power
to bring you home
before dinner A dollar thirty eight
in small change,
the collected fortune
from toll booth remnants,
peppermint sales,
and waitress tips
(stripper hips)
A clock radio only allowed
to breath Beethoven
and pop
rustles sleep,
and gives it a shakedown
every morning:
per request To balance
the masculine presence
is harlot red lipstick abandoned in lust,
surviving a bachelor existance
amidst gumwrappers and nicotine Lipstick, paired with:
two strands of brunette
blunt cut
vodka on the rocks
A matchbook bears
the name
of a flirty thing,
young and blond,
a thesis in youth
and vigor (strawberry
daiquiri tongue) Waking up next to
your shoulder
is an anonymous caller, pink
with sex-glow and the
to disguise herself as
Mrs Right
under beer-colored bar lights
Bedside mess:
bureau riddled
with ordinary graffiti (wallet,
lint, money clip) and
sweaty hangover handprints
of the
in the bathroom
Working man by day,
captain of the ship
to find
the right fish in the sea
at night No Ishmael.


Back alley silhou
ette; it pinpoints the
and its lack of sympathy I gave you a dollar
today; you gave it
to Sam on the
corner, a whiskey husk
of a man
in seven layers of clothing
(not for warmth, but
invisibility) You’re a
three layered version,
ten years away
I was
your soup kitchen
savior; I was the old maid
in the downtown shelter
where we shared cigarettes,
talked about
politics — and I
didn’t ask
Corner window office, culmination
of two divorces and three kids
you see on
commercialized holidays only You’ve got a love
with the eighteen hour
workday, a sordid
for the corporate ladder
(and the human squeal of
its rungs) Rhinestone cowboy in Ralph Lauren,
with a skyscraper billboard
of dirty flesh on the
I was
your stripper queen; I
was peek show number
the pile of sex and reciprocal
action with a thousand
faces, even your own
Blood and chocolate
on your shirt;
consolation gifts
from mother,
in stage two of
drunken decision making The midterm was a
violent pass or fail exam She
passed, you failed
to look like anything but
your father
I was
the red skirted juvenile;
I was the first girlfriend;
we held
hands and you saw
God in the city line; we kissed
fingers and
saw Jesus
giving us the thumbs up
I was
Greek god counterpart
waitress on Tuesdays
confession priest
Vietnam nurse
cage of your first lover
shell of dying daughter
sara repeats I was.

Shane Jones

Bio (auto)

Shane Jones, 20 years old, and living in Albany NY I am currently working on my first chapbook entitiled, “it runs away with sun” I am attending Hudson Valley Community College full time, where my work has been printed on a regular basis

The following work is Copyright © 2000, and owned by Shane Jones and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


is cloth on
the bones –
green (sigh) he
thinks, with
crayons, sketching
her figure on his
is the eyes –
pedals small black center (sigh) he
thinks, driving down
to the beach, top
down, sun
he loves her.

Li Wang’s last poem to Molly Smith

the art
room was ve
ry empty with
out you th
ere I paint
ed dragons on
my wrists be
cause they we
re so beaut
iful (crim
son red ve
ry oriental )
think the wh
ole class miss
ed you a
lot, after
you flew ba
ck home

summer lifeguarding

looking down,
dying peach in water clear,
getting up
and going to,

“I’m almost there “

going in
you drifted near,
pulling out,

“your fears are gone “

You are saved,
and so am I.

but us 2

the cactus is burning in the snow and we have,
no money
or food
or love
(everything used)
in Las Vegas
we pack the bags
outside that city –
a thousand
a hundred
chances for
the American
but us 2
are used,
are tired,
and want
to leave
.the cactus is burning in the snow .the cactus is laughing at you and me .the cactus is wearing velvet (“goodbye goodbye!”)

we board the bus the doors close –
the sun is smiling –
and we are very
.everything is used .everything is used
next stop: Hollywood.


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