Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

The (secretly famous) “Sorting Out the Screws Affair”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 5:35 pm on Monday, June 20, 2022

By Robert M. Katzman © June 20, 2022

So, the only significant argument 

I have ever had with

My steadfast construction assistant 

The beauteous Nancy

Was over the secretly famous (?)

“Sorting Out the Screws Affair”


(Read on …)

The Nomad and the Tree

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 5:50 pm on Friday, June 10, 2022

by Robert M. Katzman © June 10, 2022


Not that anyone is breathlessly 

Waiting to read my chaotic thoughts

But thoughts have no stop signs

Thoughts just careen relentlessly

Until captured or forgotten


I think the idea of a Menorah

Came from a Nomad resting

Lying in a sandy oasis

Lazily watching a Tree

Perhaps the only tree in the oasis


(Read on …)

When My Children Ran Thru Wisconsin’s Last Covered Bridge

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 4:58 am on Wednesday, May 25, 2022

by Robert M. Katzman © May 10, 2022

Standing in front of it

So magnificent

This great gift from

Wisconsin Pioneers

A slight breeze

Rustling my silver hair

I am so much older now

The dark wooden bridge 

Even older


(Read on …)

Mike Royko and Our Crossed Paths

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 7:22 am on Wednesday, May 4, 2022

by Robert M. Katzman © April 30, 2022

I’m a writer. I interviewed Mike Royko in May 1968 for my high school newspaper, the University of Chicago High School Midway, when I was 18. He was 36. 

The same issue where I wrote an anonymous column about how two plainclothes Chicago cops beat the hell out of me the week before, when I was still 17. By mistake, it turned out. I looked a lot like another teenager they were after.  You know, all us white guys look alike sort of thing.

Seemed like something Royko might have written about, except I never told anyone about it. The school’s Journalism Advisor thought it safer that I not sign the column. Think about that.

(Read on …)

Escaping and Embracing the Cops of Chicago (first written in May 1968)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 7:45 am on Tuesday, April 26, 2022


On April 29th, 1968, I was severely beaten by two plainclothes Chicago Cops at 79thand South Shore Drive. I was handcuffed, thrown like a side of beef into what used to be called a “paddy-wagon”, tho’ no more. I was taken to a police station, fingerprinted, charged and put in a jail cell. What happened in the Police Station was stunning and more surreal than the beating. This story takes the reader into the dark heart of the Chicago Machine. The language is blunt, racist, honest, and a piece of my life that hasn’t receded over the last 54 years.

(Read on …)

The Slaughter in Ukraine, My Immigrant Grandmother Celia, My Hyde Park, Chicago Newsstand and How it all Fits Together: An American Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 7:42 am on Saturday, March 19, 2022

by Robert M. Katzman © April 14, 2022

Been writing poetry since 1958 – that’s before Castro came to power – and I was thinking about my justifying offering a passionate new one here about: the slaughter of innocents in Ukraine, my Grandmother, Bob’s Newsstand, and what the hell does it have to do with Hyde Park history in Chicago?  This is what happened.

Celia Baumwahl, born in 1901, daughter of Fanny Turkingkopf, was later married to Nathan Warman of Minsk, Byelorussia. She once lived near Lvov when it was part of Poland. Later, borders were moved after World War One and it became Lviv, Ukraine. She spoke a dialect she called “Ukraina” which allowed Poles to speak to Ukrainians. She arrived in Ellis Island, New York City, America in 1917 during the War then traveled to Whiting Indiana, very quickly married my Grampa Nathan in 1918 and eventually I showed up thirty-two years later. 

A real American Boy.

(Read on …)
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