Dan Chiasson on Rae Armantrout in The NYer (plus randomness galore)

My last thought before leaving the house yesterday was, “Should I bring my swimsuit?” My unworn, birthday-present Geronimo swimsuit, a sweetly retro little number in red gingham with fashionably high briefs and an adorable halter bikini top, made by my sweet pal Jenny Reyes? Little did I know our room would overlook this. I am, as we speak, missing out on an opportunity to piss in Andy Warhol’s mouth. Dang.

How pretty is this sentiment, from the May 17, 2010 New Yorker article on Rae Armantrout? (Sorry for the blurriness)

Nice, isn’t it? Poetry being the idea behind the “cotton wool of daily life,” as Virginia Woolf said.

I’ve been enjoying this issue overall…though maybe it’s because I read it, in its entirety, in this bathtub with two (two!!! 2!! deux!!!) Lush Avobaths (making it yes, a $12 bath—holy shit, I know):

(I’m really enjoying these stolen two days in NYC, can you tell? The whole ridiculous LDR thing has some upsides, yes it does.)

That profile of that dude trying to do good stuff but bumping into the realities of, like, treehuggeryness in the modern paradigm or whatevs was depressing yet inspiring in a weird way; the article about Chatroulette was appropriately soul-crushing; I ripped out the article on the music in “Lost” for my “Lost”-obsessed lover; that French woman changing the economics world to solve poverty was fascinating; and we got a Malcolm Gladwell (though, since it was The Innovators Issue, how could we not, really.) I couldn’t get into the fiction, which almost never happens, and for some reason the throwaway piece about Tocqueville made me weirdly ragey, like: how fucking New Yorker-y. Fucking Tocqueville? Can we be done with this white dude boring-ass bullshit already? Can we be done with idiotic sentences like: “Remarkably, given the excitements and reach of Tocqueville’s nine-month American trip, it is seventy years since the last full account of the itinerary.” Move on, whities!!!

The other thing? There seem to be roughly sixty trillion Goldman Sachs references in recent issues (what did you dudes think of this article?). And very few were of the Goldman Sachs-is-killing-us all variety. Move on, whities!!!


Off to lunch at Pukk, then the New Museum!

Oh, but first, finishing my cooking blog for the week. Prettiness coming soon, check it out!



7 Responses to “Dan Chiasson on Rae Armantrout in The NYer (plus randomness galore)”

  1. zoe p.

    That’s a lot of New Yorker! Clearly, I need a $12 bath!

    All I read was the Armantrout thing and I loved the passage you loved except that I think Chiasson went a bit far at the end. When “culture does its thing” through poetry – including Language poetry – the results are transformative and imaginative. He in the cowboy suit and me easter dress doesn’t quite capture that.

    And then he just circles back around to “One of the reason she has become so good is that she takes the basic premises of Language writing somewhere they were never intended to go: toward the mapping of a single individual’s extraordinary mind and uniquely broken heart.” Dullsville unique individuals.

    My beloved had something super-hilarious to say about the ideology of innovation, but I totally forget how it he put it.

    I liked the recent fiction “Uncle Rock,” I think because it imagined a sophisticated child’s perspective in the same issue as the (ug) adults-only adoption piece.

    • lagusta

      I want to listen to the two of you making jokes about the ideology of innovation! My beloved and I mostly just make jokes about what our cats would sound like if they could talk.

      I’m reading everything out of order and thus STILL haven’t read the adoption piece! But how much did you love the “I.D.” short story?? Gave me chills. I love it when I read a story and spend the rest of the day imagining what happened in the characters lives after the story ended.

  2. melbourne vegan

    Oh…20 sleeps and PUKK is on my list of places to eat. I am going to order some chocs and send them to my friends apartment…it’s the only way this Australian is going to try them out…excited :)

    • lagusta

      Yo! I have a blog post in my head about 3 other Lower East Side places–to come soon!…and be sure to read through the NYC restaurant section of the blog for more ideas!! Pukk is too cute though, you must go.


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