Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Rose Bliss, Country Charm and a Killer Baby Robin…by Robert M. Katzman

Copyright July 6, 2016

There is a fluidity and capriciousness to time and events.

There is no way to predict what will occur next based on what has happened before. Even a series of good events, one following another, doesn’t mean that kind of luck will continue, or the reverse, either. There is no pattern, no rationalization of balance or why things happen in a person’s life. Why do I write this?

Last September, during a street fair in Racine, Wisconsin, a smallish town of less than 80,000 located next to Lake Michigan, just north of Kenosha, 30 miles south of Milwaukee and about 27 miles north of the Illinois border, my wife Joy and I met a very nice local couple named Brad and Rose Bliss.

In this nine months later follow-up story to what happened in that story, just about every single significant thing changed. No, none of us is or was famous and no one would have read about any of us in some newspaper; but what happened then caused our paths to cross during that street fair, and subsequently made a friendship bloom between two new settlers in Racine and a long established couple.

(Read on …)

David’s Star…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Depression and Hope,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Rage!,Social Policy and Justice — Bob at 9:11 am on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Copyright June 20, 2016

 

Hanging on a thin necklace

Around my neck

It’s always there

A silver star

David’s Star

(Read on …)

Bribing a Chicago Judge with a Sawbuck…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Cops,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Humor,Jewish Themes,My Own Personal Hell,Politics — Bob at 6:37 am on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bribing a Chicago Judge with a Sawbuck

By Robert M. Katzman

Copyright © January 2, 2014

 

In the spring of 1965, in Hyde Park, an area seven miles south of Chicago’s central Downtown area and home of the University of Chicago and jazz, my father, Irving, felt it was time to explain corruption in the Chicago Machine and teach me the basics.

 

I was fifteen, and if you can imagine the setting, we’re in our small apartment sitting on either side of the scarred kitchen table. I was listening and playing with the salt and pepper shakers at the same time. He may as well have been explaining etiquette customs on Mars to me. I had no clue about what he was going to say.

(Read on …)

A Mystery on May Eighteenth…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Children,Depression and Hope,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,Marriage and Family — Bob at 9:48 pm on Friday, May 27, 2016

(Written Wednesday, May 19, 2016)

 

6 am

Another day.

Still here.

My lower back is frozen. I stretch my knees to my chest for a while. Body still works if I do what it requires to please it. You grow older, things fall apart.

More than just the sixty miles, returning to Illinois is more like: Out of the woods and into the town, than anything else.

I’m meeting with a man this morning who has invited me to read my poetry or stories to his Jewish Authors Club. Maybe fifty people will be there after he sends out his notice of my coming appearance. Maybe one hundred fifty.

The event is staged inside of a restaurant. Dishes will clink against each other as lunch is served, but that’s the situation such a setting offers. I can bring copies of my five books with me if I wish to do that. Perhaps I’ll sell some of them.

But don’t get my hopes up about selling many of them. I mean, who am I?

Famous?

No.

(Read on …)

Retired, Confused, I Sing Joy’s Song…by Robert M. Katzman

 

By Robert M. Katzman April 23, 2016

 

Retiring from owning a store

What is that?

Time now indivisible?

Never late and no closing early

No more seeking to please

No more checking the clock

No more damning bad days

Regimentation?

Disintegration

(Read on …)

The City is Littered With the Corpses of My Retail Life…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman © April 10, 2016

 

Like discarded trash from today’s opened toys

I see the ghostly echo of my career

Sprinkled across the city like tarnished glitter

Tho’ they used to sparkle for me

 

Perhaps many people witness

The fast-forwarding of their lives

While still living them

Time relentlessly unfolding

Blank pages written by an unseen hand

 

Bob’s Newsstand: Hyde Park, Chicago 51st & Lake Park

1965-1985

Learning how to use a hammer at six took my life in strange directions

From building an insignificant 4 by 4-foot wooden shack to sell my newspapers

To a 112 by 20 foot-foot brick building spanning two decades

(Read on …)

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