Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

The Rustic Queen on the Carousel…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman ©¸ June 27, 2019

(1 of 20)
Some beautiful sunlit morning
While I wait for Cinderella to arrive
My grand-daughter might say to me:
“Grampa, what did you learn in your life?”
And I look through the colors of the glass
Fade backwards thru time
Wondering how to answer someone so young
And pointing to the pretty window
I’d say to her,
“Well sometimes things were wonderful…

(2 of 20)
And sometimes, sometimes
I thought everything was lost
Fighting some horrible urban war 
No one remembers anymore
For reasons the eventual victory
Made a wreckage of my life
Gazing at this fragile published plea
Found in the bottom of a garage box
No one today could imagine
Like some lingering survivor 
From the Revolutionary War
People forget how things used to be…
My forgotten War for the Gay People
As people used to call them
Once upon a time…

(3 of 20)

Then I’d look over at Joy’s Swing
My precisely designed and assembled
Concept of a romantic enclosure
Filtering diamonds of sunlight

My Illusion of Seclusion
She never saw it
Died too soon
But maybe, maybe she knows
And I wonder if some other…
Some fine girl might sit inside there
With me one day
And I muse to myself:
Would she appreciate my Rustic World?

(4 of 20)
And I looked all around my primitive idea
Of what was a good way to live
Which some women from far, far away
Recent women on
The spinning Carousel of ‘new women’
Have found to be incomprehensible
And I realized that values fluctuate
Maybe that Carousel will stop one day
And this Rustic Woman will step off of it
No makeup interrupting her pretty face
Wrinkles radiating from her lovely eyes
And say to me:
“Oh my God! This is amazing!

(5 of 20)
But what do I know?
Some ancient guy from the 
South Side of Chicago
Who fought with determined bullies 
On the hard playground in Caldwell School
Sharp pebbles that cut your flesh
When someone tougher than me
Knocked me down upon them
And my red blood soaked into 
White shards of stone
All of us old men now
From an Irish/Jewish world 
Which suddenly evaporated
Half a century ago
But those deep scars
Those scars have lingered…

(6 of 20)
Born five years to the day after  The Holocaust ended
Five years to the day after
Hitler shot himself in the mouth
April 30, 1945
April 30, 1950
The impossible date clung to me
Like a shroud of death
To heavy for a child to carry
I have always known what matters
What was worth fighting for
What was important
What was futile
But not always sure
What was beautiful

(7 of 20)
So I created my own little world
A makeable little world
Where the principle possibility of pain
Was a splinter from cutting wood
Where worn wood and glancing sunlight
Meant more to me than some Versailles
Where random dust was evidence of life
Where perfection was illegitimate
Where I could mold the earth
Control where the water flowed
At least for awhile…

(8 of 20)
Where a broken glass window
Had a certain durable beauty
Like a once searing old scar
Of the crossroads of scars upon me
Remind me I still remain
That the wonder of growing older
Not paid perfection from rented scalpels
Is sometimes simply what endures…

(9 of 20)
That serenity was temporary
That people can disappear
That one man’s appreciation of
What is beautiful
Can mystify another eye
That perhaps some
Secrets to Happiness are 
Cease seeking approval
Cease waiting to form a majority
Cease justifying your life
Cease wondering about deviating
From what was “The Standard”
And just wake up
And breathe…

(10 of 20)
When my Rustic Cinderella 
Steps off of her
Spinning Carousel
In my faraway from bright lights
My simple Shangri-La
This is what she’ll see
And just maybe, 
She’ll stop for a while 
And ask me
“Who made this?”
“And where is he?”
I think that will answer
My grand-daughters question

(11 of 20)  Wood warms me, envelopes me
Is almost liquid in its ability to morph
Into so many shapes and uses
My connection to wood
Is fundamental and includes
Somehow, love

(12 of 20)

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(20 of 20)
So when some curious young U.S. President Comes by one day
And sees the fragile geezer 
Slowly swinging on his
Hand-made (of course)
Grey and gasping Cedar Swing
And asks him, with her squad of 
Secret Service watching in wonder
“Excuse me, Sir, 
But do you know who built all this?”
I’ll look her in the eye and say:
“I did, Ma’am
Once Upon a Time…”


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
Dont Go’ Quietly Press
PO Box 44287
Racine, Wis. 53404-9998                                                                                                                    (262)752-3333, 8AM–7PM

Books cost $29.95 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

Shipping by air to most of Europe, due to the weight of my books is $99.00

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.  My hour-long story reading at WGTD 91.1 NPR Kenosha, Wis is now a podcast. The interview and story can be heard here: 

Speaking of Our Words June 30th, 2017 With special guest star and featured writer Bob Katzman. Bob reads his memoir, “Audrey, Pink Bunny Slippers, Her Cat and the God’s Eye” and talks about his wife.   Your comments are welcome, below, and please tell others I can be found here as a writer. I can also be hired as a speaker for organizations, etc, both here and in Europe. Seeking an agent.robertmkatzman@gmail.com Poet & Storyteller for hire for organizations, schools or private events   www.DifferentSlants.com to view recent and older examples of my work   

Preview YouTube video Speaking of Our Words June 30th, 2017

Speaking of Our Words June 30th, 2017  

1 Comment »

Comment by janette kern

July 31, 2019 @ 5:50 pm

Soda fountain lady .. just a note about the enjoyment of learning of your very different life in all but a few ways , mostly in our youths . I took my great granddaughter to another ice cream place today . It had food that was good but not the ice cream . such is life. Summer is all to rapidly fleeting as these last 2 cool nights remind me. If you find anymore interesting places for me to explore with Lily please let me know. as I will you. Have a good rest of?? Jan

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