[identity profile] two-grey-rooms.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] scrapofpaper
"To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference."
--Joan Didion


"When a man is rabidly for one cause, and then is just as rabidly for another cause, it is not because he loves the causes: it is because he loves the rabies."
--Paul Collins


"It sifts from Leaden Sieves"
It sifts from Leaden Sieves--
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road--

It makes an Even Face
Of Mountain, and of Plain--
Unbroken Forehead from the East
Unto the East again--

It reaches to the Fence--
It wraps it Rail by Rail
Till it is lost in Fleeces--
It deals Celestial Veil

To Stump, and Stack--and Stem--
A Summer's empty Room--
Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,
Recordless, but for them--

It Ruffles Wrists of Posts
As Ankles of a Queen--
Then stills its Artisans--like Ghosts--
Denying they have been--
--Emily Dickinson


"Pink Dog"
[Rio de Janeiro]

The sun is blazing and the sky is blue.
Umbrellas clothe the beach in every hue.
Naked, you trot across the avenue.

Oh, never have I seen a dog so bare!
Naked and pink, without a single hair...
Startled, the passersby draw back and stare.

Of course they're mortally afraid of rabies.
You are not mad; you have a case of scabies
but look intelligent. Where are your babies?

(A nursing mother, by those hanging teats.)
In what slum have you hidden them, poor bitch,
while you go begging, living by your wits?

Didn't you know? It's been in all the papers,
to solve this problem, how they deal with beggars?
They take and throw them in the tidal rivers.

Yes, idiots, paralytics, parasites
go bobbing in the ebbing sewage, nights
out in the suburbs, where there are no lights.

If they do this to anyone who begs,
drugged, drunk, or sober, with or without legs,
what would they do to sick, four-legged dogs?

In the cafés and on the sidewalk corners
the joke is going round that all the beggars
who can afford them now wear life preservers.

In your condition you would not be able
even to float, much less to dog-paddle.
Now look, the practical, the sensible

solution is to wear a fantasía.
Tonight you simply can't afford to be a-
n eyesore. But no one will ever see a

dog in máscara this time of year.
Ash Wednesday'll come but Carnival is here.
What sambas can you dance? What will you wear?

They say that Carnival's degenerating
--radios, Americans, or something,
have ruined it completely. They're just talking.

Carnival is always wonderful!
A depilated dog would not look well.
Dress up! Dress up and dance at Carnival!
--Elizabeth Bishop

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