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Jennifer Cartright

Michael Cartright


Lives in the Ozark Highlands of Southwest Missouri. He has devoted forty years to the study of poetry and music. He once described his poems as frames of film, momentary photographs. The odd rhythms and beats in the poems are driven by his interest in jazz music. American language, as it is spoken by the natives, is a feature of his poems with a focus on the accuracy of the frames clicking by.


I have had the pleasure of observing Michael’s work as a poet for 30 years. On our second date, he brought an old beat up doctor’s bag full of his journals and typed poems. He handed me the bag and said, “This is me, I hope you like it.” It took me three days, but I read every word. I didn’t just like it, I loved it.


Michael never does anything halfway, if he loves something he will exhaustively research it and become a foremost authority on the subject. If you don’t believe me just ask him any question about Lew Welch or Robert Pollard, he is an encyclopedia on the subjects he loves. He believes that poetry is a special art form because it is a totally different experience to read a poem and to hear a poem performed by the author. That is why it was so important to him for us to put this reading together. He wants the audience to experience poetry in both forms. He is an amazing performer with a beautiful voice and I know you are going to love his reading style.




RECORDED CONVERSATION AT A PARTY (NOT MINE)

or

LIFE CYCLE NOTES


necktie

barbed wire

a taller hat

anything

to norm the strange


we reside

in another dimension


you can see it

driving over flat land

that humming distance

or the moment after

rock splits pond water


we walk into it

disappear


only to reappear

on paper / in books




DON'T UNTO OTHERS


always doing for others

with conditions

how many points

was anyone looking

at my offering

actually

a transaction


traveling through life

convinced the cash-in

will contain a key

promised

that was never

promised


yes

it takes

special glasses

to see that












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