Pink Tag Discount Day

By Charly Fasano


Illustration by Charly Fasano


It’s pink tag discount day and mismatched socks are three for a dollar.
The thrift store cashier is scanning me like she thinks I am a thief.

Second hand always seems new.
Taking on habits of the expired silver man
who wore this sweater vest before me.
Choked by dry cleaning bags hosting dead men’s tailored suits.
Possessed by monogrammed dress shirts.
Their custom cuts always seem to fit my average frame.

Plastic flowers everywhere.
Yellow and brown,
short wide neck tie
knotted at a crime scene.

Faded and sleeveless
Foghat t-shirt
Blue Oyster Cult trucker hat.
Sunday’s best church jeans
cut into the world’s shortest short pants.
Round of a tobacco dip can burned into the back pocket
where a wallet used to sleep.

Wrinkled 1970s lifestyle magazine cover
of a model squeezed into a skin tight romper.
His mustache wearing his upper lip
like farming hair below the nose
is what a 1970s man did
when a 1970s man became a man.

Ashtrays and more ashtrays
stacked next to fumed filled gas cans.
Lawn darts live in the same aisle as cracked bike helmets.
Curved pool cue’s blood stained handle.
Charred candle stick holders.
Land line telephones and transistor radios.
One walkie-talkie.
Shovels and rope.

Smooth jazz 8 track tape collection with display shelf.
Suitcase with a broken handle locked closed forever.
Divorced table settings for one.
Family photo behind cracked glass,
matted inside a broken plastic frame.
Snapshot of the only time mom might have smiled.

Rogue birds nest in a mannequin’s wig
Singing along to flute covers of Nirvana songs,
gripped by the hustle of pink tag discount day’s morning rush.
Reading unfinished love letters trapped between yellow pages of moldy romance novels.
Possessed by habits of the expired silver man who wore this sweater vest before me.



Charly Fasano is a poet, performer, filmmaker and block printer, as well as a Westword-voted Colorado Creative. Fasano has read his poems with and shared the stage with bands like Lucero, Drag the River, Crime in Stereo, Madson Jones, Land Lines and The Queers. He is the founder of Fast Geek Press, Pretend You Can Reab audio zine, and As Well As Magazine. Fasano’s poems have appeared in Yellow Rake, Lubricated Magazine, Syntax Magazine, and Growing Strange Magazine. His book of poems, Next Analog Broadcast (2011) was published by Sunnyoutside Press, and was followed by a multimedia book and 7 inch called RETROSPECT/ED featuring the music of Lucero, released on Fast Geek Press in 2014.


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