Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

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.

Remember endless beatings with a range of hard objects, cruel words piercing my child’s young heart like arrows, public ridicule and being cursed as worthless, yet still recall her dark-eyed and curvaceous Mediterranean beauty, her universe of thousands of colors she urged me to learn, her otherworldly ability to anticipate and comprehend what other people were thinking before they said anything and her explaining how she did that to help me make my way in the world, her sensual poetry in Yiddish and after thirty years and long after her isolated and friendless death, forgive my doomed to madness mother her countless sins and finally, miss her.

Create a miniature split wood oak cave in my cavernous brick fireplace from a sorted reservoir of hardwood, fill its vacant chamber with dry twigs and paper, ignite it, slowly add steadily and more twigs, let the infant fire grow stronger, then feed thin branches to the hungry little cavern now glowing with the husk of consumed twigs, then adding thicker branches to block every possible exit of the flames desire to escape and constantly trapping the heat’s ambition to rise, while watching as the indifferent hunks of oak finally reach burnable temperatures  and then I back away, slowly, as my intricate design of items fallen from surrounding tall trees bursts into an inferno of raging hues of blues, reds, oranges and yellows leaping with sparks and abandon into a black night sky, greedily sucking in every gasp of air to feed its flight offering my dazzled old eyes a crackling, swirling extravaganza of light, heat and otherworldly beauty I unleashed from death with a single match.

 Listen to a weeping person in pain, realizing that while no words from my lips will necessarily matter, also understanding that an offer of silent reception of another’s misery is a partial cure in itself especially if accompanied with an offer of a hug, my enveloping arms strong enough to be felt, yet gentle enough to not seem a prison and held long enough to convince the other person through their tears that they are totally loved.


To someone out there who reads this in 2017: I am seeking to partner with someone real, someone honest and someone who believes what I write about is about is worth reading. That someone in Singapore, Tokyo, Ottawa, Paris or Jerusalem would want to read my stories and poetry, too.  I want to create a virtual bookstore to sell my 14 books as print-on-demand or for a Kindle and so on, and to promote the site. I would prefer this happen before I’m dead because there might not be an internet in Hell.

Oh wait.

I forgot. The Internet IS Hell.

Serious responses only. Feel free to read what’s already here on DifferentSlants. Better way to get to know me than by talking to me alone. Been writing since 1958, am 66 today.

Bob Katzman


1 Comment »

Comment by Gail Garza

December 30, 2016 @ 11:42 am

Dearest Bob,

I went passed your store last week. I regret not making it our sooner. If I can help in small way financially, I will. When the time comes when I can help in a bigger way, I will. Your work touches my heart and I know when it gets out there on a grander scale, it will touch many more.

Please contact me anytime.


God bless you and your, Bob.


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