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

Volume XXXI, Number 1

Late Summer 2002

Silent Messengers of the Arctic,
Ladislav Novák, and
A Strange Visit to a Distant Village

My Fine Feathered Friend
"Immediately, Chicken ---her nom de plume ---
became a folk-hero. Articles were written about her.
Photographers with $10,000 cameras arrived to get her picture.
Chicken's step-father became a pop personality ---
all over a commonplace and fairly dull looking Australorp."

World War II: A Photographic History
"They're a real nuisance, the dead.
Always corpses, more corpses,
and still more corpses!
Corpses everywhere!"

Great Reviews of the Past
The Woman of Rome
"As with Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina,
or Memoirs of a Geisha,
one wonders how a man ---
I almost said 'a mere man' ---
can penetrate,
and penetrate so deeply,
the heart of woman."

The Quest for Immortality,
The Gospel of the Toltecs,
Portrait of a Burger As a Young Calf

The Rejection Slip Blues
Part I

"Charlotte Gusay got a bit peevish,
advising me that
We have received your UNSOLICITED
package/material here in our office.

She then turned quite bossy, told me in bold type
that I should submit, 'a one-page query letter
with a self-addressed stamped envelope.'
It ended with a paragraph also in bold, headed,
Read and Heed."
Part II

"With the cold rejections,
we can sneer, 'it's their loss!'
But the appreciative ones:
perhaps they smart so
because success came and
perched on our shoulders for a moment...
and then up and flew away."

Souls As Big As Fingernails

"To be permitted to build over a graveyard,
the haredim said,
they must drill holes in the foundation
so that the souls of the departed
could escape for fresh air."

Great Readings of the Past
The Notebooks

"It was the Germans who invented mechanical clocks,
these terrifying symbols of the flow of time,
those sonorous chimes ring out by day and night
from numerable towns in Western Europe,
and which are perhaps the most gigantic
expression that a historical attitude toward the world
is capable of producing."

And why did I fail, / And do not fail.
"Soon enough they will come in their dark cars
To take what's left, to salt the earth with it...
Grey stones, those who mourn standing grey, blown about
By the dry winds that shuffle the rest of us
In wisps of wondering,
     and why me, and
             I should have known"

The Childless Mother Poems
"The children would let me be.
It is the mothers,
fathers who
stare at me. Their bald curiosity
confronts across the box of sand
demands my justification.
There is no role for one like me
in this place.
I become a woman
who has lost her only child.
A daughter,
she would have been three this year."

Great Poems of the Past
The Story of the Archangel Mihaela
"So Charles returned home.
But he often thought about Mihaela.
He wished she would come and visit him because
America was so big that he often felt lost in it.
He thought if she would walk to the store with him,
Maybe the Indians would leave him alone."

Doctors and Discoveries
Learning to Fall,
The Peters World Atlas,
RALPH's Poetry Reviews, and
Questions of Fellatio/Cunnilingus


A complete list of all books reviewed in RALPH,
arranged by title, including author, subject, and publisher,
plus a listing of all readings, articles and poems
that have appeared since 1994.

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

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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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