Friday, April 17, 2009

Much of the media coverage I have seen equates the health of the banks with the health of our economy. There seems to be little disagreement on this point. Hence, a wonderful time for a poem such as this one:

With Usura

With usura hath no man a house of good stone

each block cut smooth and well fitting

that design might cover their face,

with usura

hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall

harpes et luthes

or where virgin receiveth message

and halo projects from incision

with usura

seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines

no picture is made to endure nor to live with

but it is made to sell and sell quickly

with usura, sin against nature

is thy bread ever more of stale rags

is thy bread dry as paper,

with no mountain wheat, no strong flour

with usura the line grows thick

with usura is no clear demarcation

and no man can find site for his dwelling.

Stone cutter is kept from his stone

weaver is kept from his loom


wool comes not to market

sheep bringeth no gain with usura

Usura is a murrain, usura

blunteth the needle in the maid's hand

and stoppeth the spinner's cunning. Pietro Lombardo

came not by usura

Duccio came not by usura

nor Pier della Francesca; Zuan Bellin' not by usura

nor was 'La Calunnia" painted.

Came not by usura Angelico; came not Ambrogio, Praedis,

Came no church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.

Not by usura St. Trophime

Not by usura Saint Hilaire,

Usura rusteth the chisel

It rusteth the craft and the craftsman

It gnaweth the thread in the loom

None learneth to weave gold in her pattern;

Azure hath a canker by usura; cramoisi is unbroidered

Emerald findeth no Memling

Usura slayeth the child in the womb

It stayeth the young man's courting

It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth

between the young bride and her bridegroom


They have brought whores for Eleusis

Corpses are set to banquet

at behest of usura.

I found this poem to be descriptive of what banks do. Though it is a poem, and may be taken by some in the context of the author's politics, it warns of things that seem to have happened!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Eddie Daniels on clarinet

Reading back to an interview given by Eddie Daniels, to the LeBlanc Bell, in the summer of 1993, I share some of his comments quoted by Tom Ridenour:

"I wanted to play my own music, music from my heart--and the voice that came from my heart was the clarinet. It has such subtlety and warmth, a natural sound. I'ts the instrument that I most connect with, the instrument that makes me feel truly excites me when young people hear this "primitive" acoustic instrument and prefer it to electronic ones. People are confronted with technology all the time, but the clarinet is such an earthy thing-- a piece of tree with holes in it!"

"All my training was classical, no jazz at all. This may not be true for all people, but for me, jazz is not something that can be learned in a classroom; you learn it by listening and doing it."

"Music saved my life by giving me a goal to work toward. Constantly having the beauty of music in front of me inspired me. Things weren't always great at home, and my escape was to practice. If not for music, I might have been an outcast--who knows?--in jail. Music gives you an inroad to yourself."

If you have never been to you are in for a treat. Just as Barney Google could never have known his last name would become the "smith" or "jones" of the internet, who could guess a site named "" could ever live up to its name? Thanks to its estimable editor Ted Gioia, it surely does. Check it out.