Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Wisconsin: Dancing with Then and Now…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Philosophy,Wisconsin stories — Bob at 8:33 pm on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story: www.differentslants.com/?p=355

© August 12, 2015

Hey, I’m not shy

Just brown-eyed

 

Racine is a suburb of Detroit

Wall-to-wall used car lots

Ya got some kinda problem, Bud?

Transmission shops

Emission shops

Muffler shops

Brake shops

Body shops

Tire shops

Junk cars

 

Town’s only

Four miles by six miles

Barely enough room for people

But if a car is broken

Ford to Porsche

All of those people

Can probably fix it

 

Tattoos seem to be

The State Flower

Women have ‘em

Everywhere

Down their arms

Atop their butts

Down their legs

Where else?

I don’t wanna know

 

Thought in my first months here

That County Road 131 was tranquil

Way better than the Interstate

Trucks belching smoke

Idiot drivers

Weaving and crocheting through

More sedate commuters

Wisconsin State Cops

Waiting like wolves

Pickin’ off the unwary

 

Then I discovered

County Road “H”

Wow!

Made serene 131 seem frantic

Like another dimension of travel

Authentic rural road

No stoplights

Slow

Quiet

 

Strange farm vehicles

Rumbling down the asphalt

Like giant locusts

With jagged folded wings

Driver passes me

Tips his hat

Cigarette dangling

From his lip

Face sunburnt

I wave

 

I silently pass a tiny cemetery

Many little white gravestones

All the same size

Neatly lined up in rows

Sheltered by big Oaks

Very egalitarian

Like a final resting place

For Elves

No giant grey stone angels

Making some bigger splash

To gain God’s favor

 

Big wide lawns

Square houses set way back

1940’s cars for sale

Fetchingly posed on the grass

Sign on the dash looks old

Car’s leaning forward

Chrome bumper nose down

Toward the culvert

Longing for the grave

But they were beauties

Graceful lines

Cars with class

 

Sky so blue

Clouds hanging

Suspended in air

Like painted there by Rene Magritte

Belgian guy who really knew his clouds

This quiet path consoles me

On my sixty mile treks

Toward my faraway store

I think about all I see

My mind composing verses

I hope not to forget

 

Sometimes I sing

The plaintive High Noon

Western movie theme

I know all the words:

Do not forsake me

Oh my Darlin’

On this our wedding

Day—ay”

 

I never sound like

Tex Ritter

More like

South Side of Chicago

Where the

Poles, Irish and Jews

Didn’t know from

Country music

But they knew plenty

About bein’ forsaken

 

I pass tall green corn fields

Dirty-blonde tassels

Languidly waving

Like the lazy bangs

Of a circus pony

Fat corn hanging on the erect stalks

Like stiff Prussian soldiers

Seemingly fearless

Sadly unknowing

Soon to be earless

 

I imagine being in the center

Of those impenetrable fields

Unknown aging poet

Whispering my poetry

To the impatient Wind

And the Wind passes

Dispersing my words

 

There is a sullen peace

To my secure anonymity:

“What the hell

None of it will matter

When I’m dead”

I mutter to myself

But silently

 

Wisconsin “H”

Approaches Illinois

State line an afterthought

No big signs

Like creeping into Canada

No one to notice me crossover

 

Except “H” becomes

Kilborne Road

Memorializing

Some forgotten guy

Traffic light ahead

Road dead-ends at Wadsworth

Eighteen-wheel trucks speeding by

Interstate 41 a mile west

McDonalds

Shell and Taco Bell

 

I’m leaving the

Gentle

Then

Behind me

and

I’m entering the

Shimmering

Now

 

The author can be hired to read his work by your group or organization. Don’t worry, it won’t corrupt him. Too late for that. Poetry and stories sound different when read by them who write them.

Contact: robertmkatzman@gmail.com 847.274.1474

4 Comments »

Comment by NewMan from NewArk

August 12, 2015 @ 11:07 pm

don’t know how you can exist in all that tranquility. Bubba…makes me think of the cliché…”it’s quiet…yeah, too quiet”…quiet is the sound of…oh…never mind…I’ll be dropping in while they fix my car…NICE WORK, BUD!

Comment by Brad Dechter

August 13, 2015 @ 8:21 am

Bob,
Can they fix my Tesla and do they have a charging station? Imagine the tranquility of H is your car also made no noise and did not pollute the air…..
Stop thinking about dying (“None of it will matter when I am dead” ) and think about living another 30+ years! (What difference will all this make 10 years from now?)
Muwahh! (That’s a kiss.)
Brad

Comment by Herb Berman

August 15, 2015 @ 11:03 am

I love this poem, Bob. You capture a particular time and place and your place in it. You prove that in the hands of a poet the mundane and ordinary can be beautiful and extraordinary. Thank you.

Comment by Don Larson

August 21, 2015 @ 2:13 pm

Bob,

You are a lucky man to notice so keenly.

Don

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