Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Battle Cry of the Anguished American Immigrant!…by Robert M. Katzman

(Originally posted on July 21, 2008, then reposted March 10, 2017 in frustration after the 2016 election, where insanity began to rule what was once a last best refuge for people seeking a chance to live, to be happy)

 

To me, being an American is an idea.

A concept.

An agreement of equals.

A willingness to tolerate the differences in others.

A celebration of the beauty of cultural diversity.

 

While maybe originally, ours was a government,

Of the Protestants, By the Protestants and For the Protestants”

We’re bigger than that today.  A numerically insignificant People like my own family, Jews, now represent less than 2% of the total American population, but I believe that our Constitution includes me when I read it.  I don’t live in fear, here.

Soon, there will be more Moslems in America than Jews, but I don’t care.  They came here to escape the same killing chaos that brought my family here, as well as looking for a new start and a fair chance to become successful.  I welcome them.  Besides, when the hating is missing, they may remember that we’re linguistic cousins who speak two versions of the same Semitic language, as do the Assyrians, who are Christian Arabs.

(Read on …)

Cop Julie and The Lost Jewish Cemetery…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Cops,Humor,Jewish Themes,Love and Romance,Poetry & Prose,Wisconsin stories — Bob at 10:49 pm on Friday, January 20, 2017

So, new guy in a new town

I joined a poet’s group

Nice woman there figures out

That Passover

is possibly my holiday

Clever woman

 

Then she leans over to me

And whispers:

 

“There’s this tiny Jewish cemetery

In a little town near here

And their steel entrance sign

With its big Jewish star

Collapsed on the ground

In the mud

Makes me feel bad

It’s not right

Maybe you can fix it”

 

I backed up from her whisper

A righteous Christian

If ever there was one

Does she think I somehow

Have…magic powers

Able to lift steel girders

With a wink and a prayer??

(Read on …)

On the Impossibility of Hope…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Depression and Hope,Existential Pets,Friendship & Compassion,Life & Death,Love and Romance,Uncategorized — Bob at 8:27 pm on Wednesday, January 4, 2017

On the Impossibility of Hope

By Robert M. Katzman © January 4, 2016

 

Sometimes nothing works out

You live your life

Hope for friends

Hope to be healthy

Hope to be happy

And

(a really big hope)

Try to fall in love

With someone as they are

And

Be loved as you are

You, without disguises

You, sometimes without a clue

You, with no idea where you are going

You, more than a little

Shy of visionary

You, without the certainty

Of

Knowing what to offer

(Read on …)

Some Things I Can Still Do…by Robert M. Katzman

Some Things I Can Do

By Robert M. Katzman © Christmas Day, 2016 

Roast chopped raw onions, pregnant with water, in olive oil at a high temperature, enhanced with garlic, black pepper, basil and five Asian spices until the edges char and people in other parts of my house inhale the enticing aroma of crunchy consumable sizzle.

(Read on …)

Sometimes the Phoenix Burns………. Sometimes the Phoenix Returns…………by Robert M. Katzman

Sometimes the Phoenix Burns

Sometimes the Phoenix Returns

by Robert M. Katzman, October 3, 2016

(in classical mythology) a unique bird that lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert, after this time burning itself on a funeral pyre and rising from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle.)

On a grey drizzly Rosh Hashanah morning, I was sitting on my squeaking old cedar swing in Racine, Wisconsin, where Jews seem to be an endangered species. Just sitting still, staring at this massive brick fireplace I built out of heavy reddish paving bricks during my long winter without Joyce. Her illness kept her away from our home for months. I wanted to build something permanent, something that would stay with me. I decided to build a fire.

(Read on …)

Late Child…by Robert M. Katzman

 

by Robert M. Katzman / Copyright July 31, 2016

 Forward

 Written under a hot July sun while sitting alone on a bench in Chicago’s Hyde Park landmark, The Point, a rocky stepped-stone park projecting into Lake Michigan. A long favorite place for swimmers, sunbathers and photographers located about two miles east of the world famous (and still standing) University of Chicago (1890-   ), and also about one mile east of the once slightly famous (and now non-existent) Bob’s Newsstand (1965-1985).

I was there waiting to meet an unknown number of much younger people who might possibly recognize a much older me as the guy who sold them lots of candy, and who might assume I still remember them as my customers when they were fourteen and went to Kenwood High School across the street from my first wooden and later brick newsstand, over thirty years ago. Both situations seemed unlikely and as a result encouraged me to finally write down the following poem I’d been carrying around in my head and heart for months.

(Read on …)

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