R  A  L  P H
  The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities

Volume XXIII, Number 1

Late Fall, 2000 

Loving Sabotage,
The Arabian Diaries, and
The Divine Duty Of Servants

Emanuel Swedenborg's Journal of Dreams
"As Stewart Brand famously said,
we are as the gods, and we might as well get used to it.
When we discover our divinity ---
needs, desires, wants become unimportant.
The only need we'll manifest will be the need
to be kind, generous, gentle, humane."

No One's Perfect
"I am going to suggest, spoilsport me, that many
who have been there in the world of disability
will have trouble with his unfailingly bright
and cheerful view of the world."

Blackbird Dust
Jonathan Williams
"In between the names, when there is room,
we find clumps of poems, essays, criticism, memorials ---
in fact, everything, apparently, that he had stored away
under his bed and in the reject closet. It's not unlike
the pick-up truck that you and I took to the dump
last Sunday."

Great Reviews of the Past
Another View of the Dalai Lama
"For thievery, armed brigandage, or murder,
the penalty is loss of one or both hands or legs,
which are cut above the knee. To seal the arteries
the stumps are at once plunged into boiling oil, but the Chanchi
complains that many culprits die after amputation of the legs."

Following the Great Arc,
The Book of Wars
A Stubborn Light

The Rooster in the Wristwatch
"One of my wristwatches has an alarm
which mimics the sound of a rooster crowing.
Until recently I wore this watch every day.
When the rooster sound went off in class or in a meeting each morning,
I played innocent, looking around the room as if to discover
where the sound was coming from."

Swedenborg's Angels
"In Heaven there is no time.
The appearance of things changes according to moods.
The Angels' garments shine according to
their intelligence."

Life Among the Fundibulums
Part I
"Candle and lamp light are supposed to make your eyelashes
look long and sweeping. What eyelashes?
Most of the time my eyelids were as hairless as marbles
from bending over the lamps to see
why in hell those clouds of black smoke."

Part II
"The rooster now is something else again.
He doesn't give a damn if you take every egg in the place
and play handball. He doesn't care if the chicken house
is knee-deep in weasels and blood.
He just flicks a speck from his lapel
and continues to stroll around."

Oranges from Palestine
"Your mother looks kindly at this strange American man. / I wonder if she knows.
We cannot lie, cannot gaze here / but I can still taste your warm fragrance.
On the table, nestled in a brown bowl / plump oranges from Palestine.
Your sister smiles at me. / She knows."

Why They Do It
"Russell drinks because he's in college. / Uncle Jack drinks because he's a perfectionist.
Dave drinks because he's out of work. / Aunt Rita drinks because she's a musician.
Bert drinks because he's married to Rita. / Renny drinks because he likes a good time."

Acupuncture and Cleansing at Forty-Eight
my old friend's betrayal lumped in my neck, / my old love walking away thirty years ago
stuck in my lower back, father's death, mother's / lovelessness lodged in so many parts
it may takes years, Dr. Ming whispers, to wash them out, / telling me to breathe deep, to breathe hard..."

Pet Cemeteries,
Stalin, and Oliver Sacks


Perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
Subscribe, and get a free copy of one of the newest titles from
Mho & Mho Works
along with a print-out of some of our most pithy reviews, in
The Folio

A Listing of All Issues of RALPH

This will lead you to our last issue ---
and, from there, back to the previous fifty or so,
to our earliest which appeared during
the cold wet winter of 1994-1995.

T H E  F A C T S
Submitting Books
The best way to get books to RALPH for review.
Submitting Reviews
Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
RALPH didn't spring full-blown from the brows of the gods:
     We've been around (in different guises) for over twenty-five years.     
The Fessenden Fund
Other activities of RALPH's godparents, including
Mho & Mho Works

Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 7272, San Diego CA 92167

Visit our next issue     Visit our current issue    Visit our last issue