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Sock it to ... Everyone!

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Oct. 12th, 2005 | 10:58 am

Tonight is the eagerly awaited Sock Puppet Slam II at Ego's. It's an Austin-original that has been copied by slams across the country, and with good reason: it's enchanting in its badness.

While cleaning out my closet this weekend, I found a dear old friend whom I'd pegged for lost-and-gone-forever. It's my sock puppet, from the inaugural Sock Puppet Slam last year. He's a blue and green Argyle, with whispy blonde hair, a very smart beret, and faint gray whiskers popping from his nose. He is, in other words, quite distinguished.

It brings me great pride to announce that at tonight's Sock Puppet Slam, my sock will be returning to the stage. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Professor Argyle Sockstein.

Dr. Sockstein has a damn near endless supply of stories to tell. He briefly considered taking on the stage name of "Storyteller," but felt it was too pretentious and simplistic. But believe me: he can weave a yarn a million miles long and a thousand dreams deep.

For example, here's the text of the poem he will be sharing tonight. This is his first new work in over 13 months, so please, be gentle with your criticism. Professor Sockstein, despite his wisdom and gravitas, remains fragile in the ego area.

Enjoy ...

socks: a love story


the first time he saw her
she was being flung against him at high speeds.
the spin cycle was gearing up
and as the water drained the younger ones,
like her,
often got disoriented,
lost track of their buddy,
and were sent hurtling to the opposite side of the drum,
often snagged by a bra,
or a jock strap,
or a stained pillowcase.

this is how jack met dorothy.
jack, the veteran knee-high athletic sock,
a relic from the early 90s,
two bands encircled his head,
one black,
the other red,
the faint outline of the word adidas
still struggled to be seen,
but jack had been washed lo these many years,
and jack was most often worn during pick-up basketball games,
his owner drenching him in sweat,
and Jack,
that old hoss,
took every washing,
every bitter-tongued bleaching,
every grass stain and minor tear with dignity and resolve.
he was the martin sheen of athletic foot protection.

but this new girl,
this Dorothy,
she was fresh from the rack,
and by the fear in her eyes,
this was her inaugural trip to the washer.
jack grabbed her heel at the last moment,
preventing her from ending up
near the lascivious boxer-briefs, who had a Corona stain on his chin.
Dorothy, though young,
smelled like a grown sock,
like a deep curiosity sewn into her elastic grip.

She was thin,
almost transparent,
a rich mocha tone with the most gentle of baby blue stripes
running the length of her demure body,
topped at the tip by the most endearing green stitching.
that was her smile.

they talked throughout both washer cycles.
Dorothy marveling at Jack’s tales of heroism on the basketball court,
and oh Jack loved waxing poetic about his adventures so much,
he could talk the smell off a dryer sheet if he wanted,
but with Dorothy,
whose Utopian grace astounded him,
Jack found himself shutting up,
pulling his threading tight,
listening to Dorothy’s whispered wisdom,
and how at such a young age she knew so much of the world.
she had been to important meetings,
important dinner parties,
had even once seen a celebrity up close and personal.
and Jack felt like a child again,
and Dorothy loved Jack’s aw-shucks grin
and the way he wore his stains as stories to tell.

but they met only in the wash.
for in the drawer, they were on opposite ends,
and Jack was often crammed between tighty-whities,
all of whom had significant daddy issues.
but in the wash, they waltzed.
they’d swim to each other as the lid dropped
and stay entwined until the dryer stopped,
which was always the saddest time.

then one late night, Dorothy was dropped into the bubbly water
and she began eyeing the gathering crowd of clothes for her sweetheart,
her grizzled old-man with his endless heart,
and she panicked slightly when the whirlpool kicked in.

that was the first time Dorothy had been washed clean without Jack.
and the truth was,
Jack would never show up again.

he got lost somewhere,
blacked out,
forgot his name for a while,
and when he awoke
he was on a Goodwill table
miles away from anything familiar
his athletic stripes removed
his skin painted blue and green,
tiny yellow lines outlined diamonds on his body,
his hair grown thin and yellow.

I will never forget you, Dorothy.
In the deepest recesses of my spirit,
We are tumbling forever
in the Perm Press setting of eternity.

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Comments {14}

just saying

from: ohiojake
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 09:40 am (UTC)
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you know, it is lovely, and yet i wonder

how did professor argyle become argyle..the sock love, the personified socks, fine........but tube sock to argyle strains my credulity

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coffee stained boy

Re: just saying

from: freetaco
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 09:58 am (UTC)
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Indeed. The transformation from gym sock to argyle was unplausible.

The rest is quite endearing, though.

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The Unmasked Revenger

Re: just saying

from: poltergasm
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 10:06 am (UTC)
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Magic.

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curiouser and curiouser

(no subject)

from: nomichelle
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 10:23 am (UTC)
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i'd love to be there tonight, but i've got a hot date with the astros and the cardinals. yes, all of them. i am a slut.

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The Unmasked Revenger

(no subject)

from: poltergasm
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 10:50 am (UTC)
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What the hell IS an Astro anyway?

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(no subject)

from: ohiojake
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 11:06 am (UTC)
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rorge retson's rog

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The one that got away

(no subject)

from: tweekedcat
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 10:30 am (UTC)
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I found my original sock puppet over the weekend. Janice will also be returning to the stage tonight. And I'm bringing cupcakes or something, to celebrate the beginning of my next revolution around the sun.

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(no subject)

from: ohiojake
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC)
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what i want to know is..who stole mine? and where is it now?

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The one that got away

(no subject)

from: tweekedcat
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 10:35 am (UTC)
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I didn't know it had gone missing. Where was it the last time you saw it? I remember where it was the last time I saw it, but I never went near that.

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(no subject)

from: ohiojake
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 10:47 am (UTC)
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it was stolen THAT VERY NIGHT. I am serious

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The Unmasked Revenger

(no subject)

from: poltergasm
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 10:50 am (UTC)
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And hopefully burned.

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(no subject)

from: ohiojake
date: Oct. 12th, 2005 11:06 am (UTC)
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said the thief, to defer suspicion

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Tony Jackson

(no subject)

from: tonyjackson
date: Oct. 13th, 2005 11:14 am (UTC)
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For the record, everything went as predicted.

HER: Got my card, sent email this morning, asked me to lunch, asked if we were still on for the event next Thurday

ME: Wishing I was as good at playing the game as predicting it.

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The Unmasked Revenger

(no subject)

from: poltergasm
date: Oct. 13th, 2005 11:27 am (UTC)
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I have faith that you'll find a way to make it all screwy. Good luck with that!

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