Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

June 8th 1964… by Robert M. Katzman

© August 22, 2014

 

Fifty years ago

This happened:

 

At five, six, seven years old

Curses and slaps

In the middle of the night

Eight, nine, ten years old

Beatings without end

And no reason

Eleven, twelve, thirteen years old

Trapped in closets,

Whipped with leather belts

Metal belt buckles

 

Fourteen: June 8, 1964

My long glass fish tank shattered

Water and dead fish everywhere

Bookshelves toppled

My face was smashed with fists

But I couldn’t hit her back

I escaped the monster

Screaming into the black night

 

(Read on …)

The Oak Street Bridge, Chicago: Summer of 1968…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell — Bob at 10:29 am on Saturday, August 2, 2014

© August 2, 2014

 

We were on a date late one starry night

On Rush Street near Lake Michigan

She was a pretty girl, sixteen

I was eighteen and at best, passable

 

We crossed the Oak Street Bridge to the beach

Stretching across wide Lake Shore Drive

Streams of headlights streaking each way

Beneath our feet as we moved toward the sand

Midnight, balmy and a good place to neck

(Read on …)

She was the Girl with the Band……by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Love and Romance,Obsession,subtle erotica — Bob at 1:39 pm on Friday, July 25, 2014

© 7/25/14

 

Early morning

Driving east into the rising sun

Steaming coffee fogging my window

While awakening my senses

I wipe my windshield with a rag

And I see her

 

An airy wooden house

Pastel windows evoke

San Francisco’s Painted ladies

“For Sale” sign planted in her lawn

Tall oaks stretching

Leafy branches sheltering her house

How can she leave here?

 

I’m driving fast

With no place to go

I want to know more

I want to know everything

Her many card tables of cast off possessions

They’re calling to me, saying

“Stop. Come look at us, one more time”

Or maybe it’s her

(Read on …)

Sirens of Regret…by Robert M. Katzman

© June 26, 2014

I can hear it far away

Weaving in and out

Sirens

Firetruck?

Better get outa the way

Wasn’t I painting something?

Mrs. Phillips, your boy has talent

You can tell that at seven?

 

Picking red strawberries under the Iowa sun

Pretty girl, blond hair spilling over her shoulders

Sirens coming…

In a barn

Up in a hayloft

Jenny, can I unbutton that button?

No!

Please

Please

Noooo…

Please

Yes!

 

John, college or painting

Can’t do both

Choose one

You want to be a starving artist?

No?

Accounting is the smart choice

I’ll send in the application

Sirens wailing…

 

Well, John

Welcome to the firm

Your office is over there

Sorry, no window yet

Mary will be your secretary

Pretty girl, Mary

 

Mary, look at the view!

I want to paint Cape Cod!

John, forget that

Billy is getting sand in his hair

Oil painting won’t pay for fixing our roof

Or Emily’s braces

Why do you persist?

Sirens…sweet soft Jenny…hay in our hair…sirens

 

Corner office, John

Finally got your window, eh?

Meeting new clients for lunch?

Looks like a few too many lunches

Nice watercolors on your wall

You painted them?

No! I don’t believe it!

When could you spare the time?

 

Mr. Phillips, I see a problem

You’re too heavy

Too many cigarettes

You work too many hours

Stress can kill you

You don’t look happy to me

Ever consider a hobby?

Painting, maybe?

 

Sirens, louder, closer

 

John, we made you partner

There’ll be more traveling now

Clients want to press the flesh

So first Rochester

Then Buffalo

Then Davenport

Springfield

Harrisburg

Moline…

 

John,

You look so pale

Why are you still working at midnight?

Is work all there is?

I’ll get you some water

 

I need new brushes

Jenny let me paint you

God, Jenny

You’re so beautiful

Wish we had more time!

 

Wish we had more time…

 

Wish we had more time…

 

Sirens so distant…fading away…

 

John?  John??  John!!!

Last Child Leaving…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Children,Depression and Hope,Marriage and Family — Bob at 7:19 pm on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

 

© June 17, 2014

 

The last one is sleeping

On the other side of our wall

Room’s randomly strewn with:

Clothes, makeup, empty food containers

Dolls, stuffed animals

Mysterious bits and pieces of technology

Towels, towels, towels

Extinct schoolwork

Her present is passing

She is leaving

(Read on …)

The Old Magazine Store.com: Complete Facebook Posts

Filed under: My Own Personal Hell,Obsession,Retail Purgatory — Bob at 9:22 am on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

 Usually, this space is reserved for poetry and short stories.

However, since 99.9% of the planet is unaware of my incredibly diverse vintage back-issue magazine store just north of Chicago in colorful Skokie, Illinois, I decided to intermingle my separate worlds.  All five of my books are always available for purchase and signing, in case you want to meet the eccentric who wrote the following:

New store departments: Butterflies & Insects; Kurds, Eastern Europe & Russia; Michael Jordan; Dinosaur & Neanderthals; Scandinavia; British & USA Jazz mags; Dr Who (but only a few). Come visit a rare experience. Buy a present that shows someone you love, that you really thought about it first. Open Mon-Sat NYC, LA, Miami, Philly etc-Bet you wish you had an Old Magazine Store, too, like Skokie does. (847) 677-9444 The way stores used to be. Please like this page so that others will know about us, too. Thanks.

Imagine a homeless poster, gathering dust, cold, hungry, friendless, sleeping in the shadows. Time passing it by, its image gradually unrecognizable by succeeding generations.
Mom, Dad– who was Clark Gable?  Who was Marilyn Monroe?  Yoda?  Elvis??
Why are there still posters existing with their pictures on them?  Were they famous??

You can stop this travesty. Adopt a poster. Now. Today. Five dollars. (sale ends on 6/8/14)
Make public radio wait. Skip a latte. Give a poster a home.

50,000 posters of every imaginable type formerly priced at $40 to $200 are now $5 and $10 each at the frequently incomprehensible Old Magazine Store.com in serene Downtown Skokie. Too serene.

Every poster must go. Pronto. Organization is totally random, so first come, first served. Expect chaos. Fun! Make a lonely poster smile.

Movie–Fantasy–Charts–Educational–Rock ‘n Roll–Crime–Military–Pinup (male & female)–Animation & Disney–Star Wars–Star Trek–Horror–Historic–Aviation–Trains–Cars–Jazz–Black History–Israeli Posters–Maps–Western–Farm Equipment–Film Noir–Chicago History & World’s Fairs (1893-1933)–Rockwell–Fashion–Motorcycle–

Cigarette–Asia–Beer–Native American–Famous Newspaper Headlines–Cops–Classical Music–Coca-Cola & Pepsi–French Ads–19th Century Industrial–Fireman–Hunting & Fishing–old sports– 1920′s-30′s mini posters of the Golden Age of Hollywood…

Cover your walls. Home Theater. Restaurant. College town stores e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e will all have the same boring posters. Give your kid something stimulating for their walls. Stock up for Christmas gifts now!! (847) 677-9444 Ask for Bob (a kindly person) Appt. possible.

Open every day, mostly. Weekends: 10–2 Daily: 10–5 (unless I’m seeking the meaning of life, and close at 4:30).  Please like this page.

(Read on …)

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