Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

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:

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 …)

Surviving the Bad Times…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Friendship & Compassion,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Old Fart Wisdom — Bob at 12:42 pm on Thursday, April 10, 2014

© April 10, 2014

I learned all you’ll read below from an old man–born in 1896–in 1965, when I was 15 and he was 69.

For my grandkids, and yours, listen to his words from nearly 50 years ago.  He lived what I wrote here:

Hard to know all this
When you’re a kid
I was a kid
I didn’t know enough
Didn’t have much choice
Bad times are thrust upon you
Not like choosing a college

(Read on …)

Time, Unmeasured,1969…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Love and Romance,Politics,Retail Purgatory,subtle erotica — Bob at 5:28 pm on Monday, March 31, 2014

© March 31, 2014

 
It was a six foot by eight foot wooden box
I built it in Chicago
I was nineteen
From the heavy hinged door to the slanted roof
So the snow would fall off
A solitary window slid back and forth
The rain was defeated
The small structure was solid
And eventually I, too, was solid
Because one thing led to another

(Read on …)

Precision…by Robert M. Katzman, 3/16/2014

Filed under: Depression and Hope,Obsession — Bob at 12:45 pm on Sunday, March 16, 2014

All his lines are parallel
Boots side by side
Left on the left
Right on the right
There is a second pair
Waiting
For more serious weather
Drifts of snow
That may never come
But he is ready
Which is important

(Read on …)

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