Monday, July 19, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 39 (Laird Hunt)

The Impossibly
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Hunt, Laird
The Impossibly

Given to me by the author upon his visit to Buffalo in 2001. Inscribed.

I met Laird in NYC when we both lived there in the mid-nineties. I think Dan Machlin introduced us, probably at a reading at the Segue Space. Laird and partner Eleni Sikelianos had recently arrived in NYC after having lived in Paris for a number of years. I always found Laird an interesting character: a fiction writer among poets, who had probably read and understood as much if not more poetry than many of the poets he hung around with.

I remember sitting on the hardwood floor of someone's East Village apartment talking to Laird about Ronald Johnson.

I remember walking around the Lower East Side talking about a biography of Wittgenstein.

I remember him proudly telling me he had never finished his masters at the Sorbonne because he kept skipping class to write fiction.

I have Erik Satie stuck in my head.

from The Impossibly

The first time we met it was about a stapler. I think. I knew the word, and she didn't, so I stepped forward, slightly, and said it. The shopkeeper smiled, and she smiled, and the shopkeeper reached under the counter and produced a box. It was a fine box, smooth whit eon the outside, dark corrugated brown on the inside, and contained a nice-enough looking gray stapler that the shopkeeper demonstrated, first opening the mechanism and loading it with a generous strip of his own staples, then closing it on two sheets of yellow ledger. He pulled lightly on the two sheets to demonstrate that they would not, if not pulled on too strenuously, come apart, stressing, as he did so, that no stapler could be expected to perform satisfactorily given unsuitable material. He then asked if the stapler would be used for heavy or light jobs, and as the answer was both, put two small maroon boxes of staples on the counter, and asked if there would be anything else.

At this point I wandered off.


rdeming said...

Mike--last night you made a cameo appearance in a dream I had. It was in NYC and I was going into a building somewhere around midtown, but there were a few steps so the door was a bit off the street. Just as I was about to grab the door handle, I looked across the street (perhaps it was 7th ave) and I saw you and waved. You smiled and nodded your head, which was all you could do because you were basically in that Capt Christoper Pike from the first episode of STAR TREK--you all in black and in that little box like thing he was in. You nodded and then pulled out in your motorized contraption onto the street and zipped away. I turned back and went into the building.

Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

I always happy to appear in your dreams, Richard. Hey, looks like I am also going to speak and read at that Black Mountain shindig in Rochester, though I think I am on the poetry bill the night after you.

rdeming said...

Way cool! It'll be fun.