June 12, 2009


(Adapted from Ezra Pound, Canto XLV)

With Credit Cards

With credit cards hath no man a house of good stone
each block cut smooth and well fitting
that design might cover their face
with credit cards
hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
harpes et luthes
or where virgin receiveth message
and halo projects from incision
with credit cards
seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
no picture is made to endure nor to live with
but is made to sell and sell quickly
with credit cards, 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 credit cards the line grows thick
with credit cards is no clear demarcation
and no man can find site for his dwelling
stone cutter is kept from his stone
weaver is kept from her loom
wool comes not to market
sheep bringeth no gain with credit cards
credit cards are a murrain, credit cards
blunteth the needle in the maid's hand
and stoppeth the spinner's cunning. Pietro Lombardo
came not by credit cards
Duccio came not by credit cards
nor Piero della Francesca; Zuan Bellin' not by credit cards
nor was 'La Calumnia' painted.
Came not by credit cards Angelico; came not Ambrosio Praedis,
came no church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.
Not by credit cards St. Trophime
not by credit cards St. Hilaire,
credit cards rusteth the chisel
they rusteth the craft and the craftsman
they gnaweth the thread of the loom
none learneth to weave gold in her pattern

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