Late Winter Blues

Late Winter Blues

by William Schulman


Publisher Xlibris

Published in Literature & Fiction/Poetry, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


The strum of living as any type of Artist/Poet became sandwiched and layered between Ecstasies, Perfect storms, and Alberta Clippers and only offered changes and instabilities as if I were caught in a huge, Jovian stand storm composed of Graphic Minutia and Tinkling Words that settled into my life's resolve to aim Higher, Live Longer, and return in the Guise of William Blake rather than 'Little Willie'? Come and decide which Willie is before you?

Sample Chapter

Traveler's Thoughts On the Road to Monet


The run from Menomonie to Chicago via I-94

is swift and long.

This serpentine road collects vehicles

like pieces of pattern intricately stitched

into snake skins.

Neither vehicle nor road get away from each other.

They share an undulating togetherness,

only warry at skin-molting times.

Shedding comes in a swift warning of shoulders.

Vehicle and road share frictioned desires.

Singular desires are rubbered by the other.

Slick, slow, smooth, or shiny,

we roll together in a sensual, cohabiting embrace.

Rolling, rolling,

ballbearings encased in a giant gear,

too mamouth to comprehend.

A sexual gestalt whose enormity

can be positioned on the head of a Biblical pin.

The serpentine hills hiss contextually.


Monotony becomes manageable

when the body reaches cerain insensitivity.

At that point monotony becomes moot;

nothing intrudes except a repeating fantasy

turning over and over--

a beach ball at the mercy of a playful wind-



a record player without an automatic cut off-

a horse sleeping in a standing position.

Monotoy and kilometers possess each other.


Time stands on its edge.

Eventually sunglasses are removed

in order to concurr perceptually

with the descending dusk.

Purple grays and muted scarlets radiate wetsward.

The Van now shudders less violently,

the wind eases its west to east gallop

and pulls up to rest among the hills.

It is time for a gas gulping stop,

relief of the bladder-a strech at the knees.

I remount for the last charge towards Chicago.


How dull and flat south-eastern Wisconsin seems.

How come I hadn't noticed this quality ten years ago?

Hastled by economics, I may have been perceptually

too busy to have noticed More probably,

one's aesthetic needs have also grown.

Blanket acceptance without adequate questioning of judgments

might be a young man's basic strategy.



Now, in the middle of my road,

flat, uninterrupted landscape seems too innocent.

How far the seem stands from the is?

There they stand, mute strangers,

when passionate bed partners they should be.


I hum steadily southward.

The names are so familiar.

Almost in a dream I cite their cipher Indian-like,

as I rocket by...Fort Atkinson...Oconomowoc...Delafield...


Their awareness sticks to the darkening windshield.

I nod, nod, nod,

unable to remove a stale toothpick held fast in a drying mouth,

just behind my eyes.

I-94 begins its bend southward towards Chicago.

I am programmed to bend also-place has commissioned

this destination in my mind.

There is no turning back.

I can only intrude traumatically.

Existential choices need to be powerful and purposive

in order to wrench or intrude on this fixation,

marked in itaglio depth on my inner mercator.

It is not possible to intrude or interject without deliberate,

laser-amplified Beta wave potency.

My humming dream world cocoons my mind...



The sun hangs onto

the Western lip of sky.

Low shooting rays

exalt my mirrors.

The cab is bathed

in radiance.

Mind fights for potency.

Warmth roars,

until my nostrils

choke for air.

I crack the window,

the dying sun leaps in

without a sound

and stitches fire

to all the dials.



is all my limbs can do.

Only the scarlet needle hovers

on feet per milli second.

All sound beomes radiance-

all radiance roars sound.

Closing half-lidded eyes

my vault is now sepulcher.

Heaven could not be more.




A flashing of scarlet lights...

Could I have passed

beyond the gates?

The reverie is broken,

a roadside sinner

hangs the guilty shoulder.

He's caught in the maw

 of a white snake

with flashing scarlet eyes.

The warning blinks to my toes,

muscles unhinge, relax,

the throttle eases,

as the needle dips below accounting,

7 mile road slips by. 


A 707 hangs on my left chin

calling for Billy.

I intersect his call letters

as Elton John begins to climb.

The whole landscape is afire .

The kneeling sun

torches my view.


We begin our Vesper prayers,

single confessions bank askew.



Talking to each other

there is no grand design

in a Dodge at 55,

or beside a 707 in glide path.


We tear apart from each other-

Rawson Road knives both our foreheads.

My landing is less problematic,

his flaps are well extended.

I'll settle for Racine,

Will he demand Molliere?


Pictures at an exhibition-

Monet is being prepared

for visual feasting,

and I, a fool,

am three days early.

I settle for the entrees.


Already it is four pm. and the Institute closes at five.

I am told that the men in red coats

arm-flap the halls at ten minutes to the hour.

There is no time to stand around and absorb.

Yet, some works demand such inspections despite the warning clock.

Seurat and all the French hook the walls

with power and mystique.



A magnificent study of a woman by Corot.

The Chagall Rabbi of Vitobesk twinges deeply welling senses.

One can sit next to Kokoshka, Rouault, Soutine, Modigliani.

Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Cezanne, and Leger.

The eyes can hardly stand it. 

My brushing arm hangs fire.

The hoards of people disappear.

Power pours from the painings,

rather from the audience.

There is no time to sit.

Next time I shall smash the clock before I enter.

The man in red hangs his head like a Soutine chicken...

...There is no more today...Sorry..

Front doors spew a swound of dancing eyes

onto Michigan Avenue.


I turn northward feeling grand and glorious to be walking.

I have an eight-thirty date with the Chicago Symphony,

with Haydn, Shostakovich, and Borodin.

Picasso nudges me up the avenue..

I do so with pulsing eyes.




































Excerpted from "Late Winter Blues" by William Schulman. Copyright © 2015 by William Schulman. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

William Schulman

William Schulman

Willie Schulman was born in Winnipeg, Canada in August 1929. He migrated to Milwaukee in 1950, just after a major Red River flood. His first American stop was a day long visit to the Art Institute of Chicago and to the School of the Art Institute because of his interest in Art. He was amazed at the Institute's collections and became dejected by the power of their great paintings, especially their French modernists. His visit to the school reinforced the reality that he couldn't afford it. With eight dollars in his pocket he bought a ticket on the North Shore Line to Milwaukee where he was afforded lodging by his aunt.It took six decades later to realize that the accumulation of Willie's life history is but a chirascuro evaluation in pulses of light and dark of a billion paintings, a zillion drawings and a scattering of wordlets that filtered through my brain while alternating between Artist and Poet mode.

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