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Rio, March 9th, 1964

Dear May:

I’m beginning to feel like that bell in the desert that rings & rings and no one hears it — so it really DOESN’T make any sound.– I did send you a card and a letter, I think (& maybe more), about how we got the grater, how I used the grater, how superb it is.–how Lota, the grater– spectator (only), was so pleased, etc, etc…But aparently you didn’t get any of thse messages. I suppose there will come a point, if the Brazilian Post Office goes on the way it’s going, at which I’ll give up.– At present I feel I shd keep on trying —but what good that’s going to do I can’t imagine, Lota’s nephew even tells me, gaily, about a surrealist kind of poet he knows who works for the P O — has his patio stuffed with letters, above which he sways dreamily in his hammock — A jazz expert — host to Horace Silver during carnival. — The nephew finds this all awfully funny and endearing and I feel like something out of Grant Wood – or perhaps vaguely FacistFascist. — Should one expect letters to arrive? Is it awfully bourgeois e? Won’t even the proletariat, come Utopia, want to get their letters? Or does that veryneed cease? Well, tell me — (Now that I think of it — that’s one thing I have never read about Russia — have you? — the Post Office Dept. Do they get letters? — Do they bother to write them? — Most Brazilians m I know gave up a hundred years ago and seem to feel now that any letter–writing — [that is, mthe reading–&–writing class feel ] is a sure sign of aneurosis…

I do hope you got the N B W — (I also wrote you this, on a card, two or three weeks ago — but did you get it?) — and but I don’t know whether you got it or not. I heard you were awfully close. March 10th on tomorrow — well, it won’t be in the papers here, so please do let me know. And now I think it’s money as well as a gold plaque, so you’ll be richer & richer r and richer, May! — I do hope you get it!

Just then Mrs The Xodorides called & said there was a 500–piece puzzle there from you and could she please borrow it when we are through with it? Thank you again, & I do think I should pay you for that, even if you are rich, because I know they are expensive. She’s going to bring it around tomorrow, along with her pair of Bic ros de Lacre — because her 86 year–old mother is sick in the hospital, and when sh’e with her mother she worries all the time (since it’s mid–summer here) whether the birds’ water–dish is dry or not…So you see how Life is here now. The Bic ros de Lacre are as adorable as ever — so tiny, taking baths constantly in this hear, and then retiring to their filthy little nest to lay another egg —which never hatches —

Ye gods, May ! — D do you have a copy of "The Experience of Poetry in thea Scientific Age" to send me? I feel it’s probably just the tonic I need these hot days. — If the radio were working better I might even get you a short–wave. — T tell me when? Or have I missed it? Mary Morse has one of those complicated international long–wave, short–wave machines up in the country. — w We sometimes get Voice of America or the BBC, etc. — w Would you read it yourself? But I do admire you, honestly, for being able to take the reading–business–I can’t, you know, –and seems so stupid when it is a perfectly simple and honest way of earning money —

Thank you for the puzzle — and please don’t send the mathematical one…picture puzzles are fun — but mathematical braintwisters aren’t, really.

At least they aren’t for me. I just get tired of reading once in a while — or the lights get weak and we can’t play records — and puzzles are something visual and sociable and you can even talk at the same time — But these are all for social pleasure. — I try mathematics and crystallography and crystal–growing and other such hobbies here once in a while – have a fine growth of alum in the cupboard now — can write you the formula. — BUT Lota, poor dear, doesn’t even know the multiplication table, you know! — the result s of high–class convents —

I like the poem about the plane very much — just the way one feels — ALL THAT TIME I like — it is certainly bet ter than anything else on that paageyou enclosed — but — I hope you won‘ think I’m being impolite or perhaps even dumb — perhaps you wanted to say that? — I can’t BEAR the word "like" used instead of "as if." But perhaps you have decided in favor of that use of it? — In which case there’s nothing much I can say, because it is a possibility — But PLEASE look at Fowler, page 325 — I just hate it –

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