This is a reference to the death of Larry Fagin's fiancee, who "had been electrocuted in Germany when a toaster fell into her bathtub" (211):
Larry had begun to work as a translator, editor and writer in avant-garde European publications, after the death of his fiancee [....] One evening at sunset he sat in Gino's reading the Robinson Chaucer when Spicer came in. In his sometimes hesitant, stammered speech, Spicer asked, "Whaaa-t you reading?"From Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance by Lewis Ellingham and Kevin Killian.
He sounded like a hick, Fagin decided. Very guarded, Fagin said only, "Troilus."
"Read something," suggested Spicer.
"Fagin took the challenge. "I began to read and, sitting across me, closing his eyes, nodding, Jack picked up it up and began reciting along with me, for almost one and a half columns, from memory. It was mind-boggling. I was actually in awe." (211)