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Natural Anthems

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March 21, 2020


The Ozarks


Michael Cartright

The bulk of these poems were written in the first half of 2005 and originally titled National Anthems. Once I revisited the 152 poems for editing, it became clear that the poems that remained untouched and came naturally were the strongest, so the title evolved into its present state. Writing from the same kitchen table each night, in 3-4 hour sessions, the music of Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices served as the nightly soundtrack. The band has just reached the end of the line in 2004 and had broken up. I got the news late and was sort of stunned, so I dove back into Bob’s music and tried to play catchup as I had trailed off of their path somewherearound 2000. The music kicked me into gear and after a long period of low productivity the thing just took over as it usually does, I managed to get most of it down in a large sketchbook. I would type them up at work the next day and proceed to edit them, curse them, them me and then sat on them for fifteen years. They are now ready and beyond ripe.

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