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 …)

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 …)

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 …)

Post-Surgical Dispatches from Racine, Wisconsin…by Robert M. Katzman

January 10, 2016 (Sunday)

So, I am home alone, recuperating, with my dogs Betsy and Jasmine, who keep me warm in frigid Wisconsin. I can stand up and lie down, but no sitting or I’m in big trouble. Prostate surgery is not something to mess around with.

 

I discourage nice friends who live nearby from visiting, because the (unstated) aspects of recovery are difficult to deal with, and constant. About two weeks before most things are better. Burning pain is a real part of it. I look fine (ok, not gorgeous) and no one could tell something was wrong unless they lived with me for a day. Time moves v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y. The dogs wake me before sunrise, follow me around every damn minute, have to go outside endlessly and if I choose to rebel, they leave me a little message. The Dog Mafia.

 

(Read on …)

Remember The Maccabees!…by Robert M. Katzman 12/1/1996

Filed under: Children,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,Rage! — Bob at 10:42 am on Saturday, December 5, 2015

Copywrite December 1, 1996

                         Eight tiny lights

                         Burn into the night

                         A captive people

                         Ready to fight

(Read on …)

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