EDITOR'S CHOICE - 2008
Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards,
Anthony Buccino reads HANDS IN SOCKS from his future collection CANNED.
HANDS IN SOCKS
He sat on the old couch
his head on the home-made cover of the old pillow
Snoring, mouth open, under the bright Afghan blanket
Aunt Julia knitted,
his forearms poking out in the air and his hands covered
in a pair of his white cotton socks
Dad’s hands inside those old socks were slathered in Vaseline.
He wanted to soak in Sardo bath oils but it was out of his price range so the old reliable, petroleum jelly,
filled in the sore cracks on his cold-weathered hands.
He couldn't hold a nail if he wore warm gloves
on those cold New Jersey days to protect
his leathered hands from splinters and grit.
When it got cold like this,
he longed for inside work
and, on occasion, got some.
So, I watched him snoring, his hands twitching
and his semi-conscious look around
when his dream was interrupted
by the feeling of socks on his greasy hands.
He blinked, looked at the socks,
looked at the TV, then me,
and nodded back into his fitful sleep.
I knew he longed for the expensive Sardo
and any good son would have saved up for it.
But I had little compassion for his misery
– even as I watched it
and never moved to ease his pain.
By Anthony Buccino
2008 Allen Ginsberg Awards – Editor’s Choice (reading version)
Also included in Sixteen Inches On Center