Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 49 (Sasha Steensen)

A Magic Book
Steensen, Sasha
A Magic Book

Given to me by the author after a reading she gave in Buffalo to celebrate the publication of the book. Inscribed:


Fellow Buffalonian
and Dear Friend.
Thanks for the 


I keep having this image pop into my head of talking to Sasha on the front porch of Gregg Biglieri and Barbara Cole's first floor flat on Ashland Ave.

Sasha and Barbara ran a reading series for several years called "Another Reading Series," which met alternately at Sasha (and Gordon)'s apartment and Barbara (and Gregg)'s. I don't remember who was reading that night, but it must have been in early fall, as it was warm enough to stand on the front porch.

Sasha was telling me about her dissertation topic and I recall thinking to myself that we were entertaining similar ideas related to poetry and history and so on. I took quite a bit of time to think this over and I must have looked very quiet and inscrutable because when I looked up Sasha had a slightly uncomfortable expression on her face, as if she was about to ask if she had said something wrong.

I don't remember where the conversation went from there.

I also remember that I had just caved in and bought a small blue cheap plastic cellphone, my first. I think Lori had needed to get one for work, so we decided to purchase a family plan. It had one of those little black and white screens on it. It did the job.

Later that evening, or possibly earlier, I stepped out on the porch later to talk on the phone, probably to Lori, when my ex-girlfriend stepped arrived arm and arm with her new boyfriend, climbed the stairs, gave me a cold, indifferent stare, and walked into the reading.

I also remember going back into the reading and seeing a copy of The Rings of Saturn on Gregg's bookshelf and thinking to myself that I should read that.

from A Magic Book

Errand #4

Sail (or sell or buy) as much of the shore as possible, or steal, preferably steal. We were to become the biggest producers of steel in the world, the biggest in a thousand senses. All of those grandfathers worked in that big mirrored building to make sure I could have my metal, which brings me around to errand #4: make sure we are in a position to mettle.

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