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


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”


Made serene 131 seem frantic

Like another dimension of travel

Authentic rural road

No stoplights




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



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


Some forgotten guy

Traffic light ahead

Road dead-ends at Wadsworth

Eighteen-wheel trucks speeding by

Interstate 41 a mile west


Shell and Taco Bell


I’m leaving the



Behind me


I’m entering the




Publishing News! 

Bob Katzman’s two new true Chicago books are now for sale, from him!
Vol. One: A Savage Heart  and Vol. Two: Fighting Words

Gritty, violent, friendship, classic American entrepreneurship love, death, heartbreak and the real dirt about surviving in a completely corrupt major city under the Chicago Machine. More history and about one man’s life than a person may imagine.

Please visit my new website: https://www.dontgoquietlypress.com
If a person doesn’t want to use PayPaI, I also have a PO Box & I ship anywhere in America.

Send me a money order with your return and contact info.
I will get your books to you within ten days.
Here’s complete information on how to buy my books:

Vol 1: A Savage Heart and Vol. 2: Fighting Words
My books weigh almost 2 pounds each, with about 525 pages each and there are a total together of 79 stories and story/poems.

Robert M. Katzman
Don’t Go Quietly Press
PO Box 44287
Racine, Wis. 53404-9998                                                                                                                    (262)752-3333, 8AM–7PM

Books cost $24.95 each, plus shipping

For: (1)$3.95; (2)$5.95; (3)$7.95; (4)$8.95 (5)$9.95;(6) $10.95

(7) $11.95; (8) $12.95; (9)$13.95 (10)$15.95 (15)$19.95

I am also for hire if anyone wants me to read my work and answer questions in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Schools should call me for quantity discounts for 30 or more books. Also: businesses, bookstores, private organizations or churches and so on.

My Fighting Words Publishing Co. four original books, published between 2004 and 2007 are now out-of-print. I still have some left and will periodically offer them for sale on my new website.

 Twitter handle: bob_katzman


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

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.)

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


You are a lucky man to notice so keenly.


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