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

Volume XXIX, Number 2

Early Mid-Spring 2002

Being a list of reviews, readings,
articles and poems at RALPH
which regularly, month after month,
receive the most direct hits from readers.
Don't ask us why.

The Night Torn with Mad Footsteps
"In the downtowns of torn condoms,
yards filled with trash, rainspouts lined with
broken Mogen David bottles --- there's this
somewhat stinky bastion of sanity and art,
a brawler with heart, a boozer with soul,
a real artist who is no namby-pamby,
who cannot stomach the softness of culture."

Moki --- Maori Tattoos
"There is no going back with a facial tattoo of the Maori.
It is a painful process of design which states
one's passionate belief in one's people, and their ways,
and their religion and history."

Whales and Other Marine Mammals
"For a couple of hundred dollars, I claimed,
you and I could have a pair of these miniature whales
in an aquarium, each about six inches long,
blowing their little spouts and, once properly trained,
breaching as much as a foot in the air."

Anatomy of Miracles
"Consciousness has no location.
It has no point of view, no place where it sits
and observes the rest of the cosmos. It is everywhere...

Anyone who can come up with truths like that
deserves all the good we can give him."

Great Reviews of the Past
Birds of San Diego
"Each domestic cat --- even well-fed ones ---
will capture and consume over a hundred birds a year.
The feral ones do much worse.
With the feline population of southern California
reaching 50,000,000 and growing steadily,
the time will soon be upon us when the trees will be bare,
except for garage-sale signs,
and the only bird-songs we'll hear
will be the shriek of the alarm on the neighbor's car
as its being rifled at midnight."

An Ethnic at Large,
Yurts, Tipis and Benders

The Valley of No Flowers
"If Walker Evans and James Agee were alive today,
they would come along with me
to not just to visit but to live with
Vicente's four aunts and three uncles
and the twenty-five (or twenty-six) cousins."

La Mordida
"In the slightly respectable colonia where I live,
much to the admiration of the neighbors,
a nearby cement power pole was demolished
on New Year's Eve by drunk in a Ford 250 ---
a sign that the right to navigate
stewed out of your mind
is still alive and well here."

Part I

"She loathed weakness for the simple reason
that it prevented one from seizing life's opportunities.
In her case, opportunity consisted of being born with
a hundred thousand megawatts of pure drive and determination,
and a father who pegged her early along
as one of the Divine."

Part II

"It's her fault, isn't it?
She never taught us how to love.
Too unpredictable, you can lose control too easily.
Much better to take hostages. Our house, a terrorist cave,
filled with an army of prisoners-of-love."

Saint Agnes and the Passion of the Dunes
"St. Agnes (she said that was her name) wanted to play ball with us.
Afterwards she asked us to lay atop her
just atop the grave, over there, near the lighthouse.
One has to be done with being done, she said, and her voice was dry, brittle.
Ours was a dream of passion, she said."

Great Poems of the Past
The Battle at Little Bull-Run
"My family eats love for dessert
Topped with nutmeats and cherries.
When asked, they smile out of the past
And crush the small rebellions we bring
From school: crayon drawings of skulls,
Paper dolls with scrofula, dead pups."

"The Seven Ages"
by Louise Glück

Help with our 10th Anniversary Book.

Of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy

All books reviewed in RALPH
since 1994
arranged chronologically.

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a free copy of one of the newest titles from
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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
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent

Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176


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