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

Volume XXXI, Number 3

Early Fall 2002

Claude Simon's Trolley,
The First Transatlantic Cable, and
A Journey into the Essence of Sufi Teaching

At Swim, Two Boys
"It is not only the passion of two young men,
one for another,
but the passion that is Ireland ---
cursed as it is, with England,
and with the Church,
and by and with that fertile fecund language
that seems as much a part of it as the constant sea."

Detour: My Bipolar Trip in 4-D
"I don't diagnose bipolar disorder
in my practice anymore.
I don't need to --- the patients come to see me and
tell me that they are bipolar.
It's replacing ADHD as the new hot diagnosis"

Treasury of Favorite Poems
"This fat volume bedevilled
us poor sophomore English majors
some fifty years ago. It presumed
to list the acceptable English language poets
for mid-Century USA, poets you and I
would rather forget we had to remember ---
the likes of Herrick, Milton, Pope,
Meredith and Rossetti."

Great Reviews of the Past
Spies, Black Ties, & Mango Pies:
Stories and Recipes from CIA Families All Over the World

"They casually talk of demonstrations,
upheavals, bombs and gunshots on the streets outside ---
and inside the U.S.-sponsored fortress walls,
it's Pozole and hot Chicha Morada,
served to people standing about in
elegant high-fashion clothes, clutching their
wine-glasses and talking about the servants."

The Birdmen of Peru, and
The Englishman's Daughter

Old Age As an Artifact of Civilization
"The very existence of survival
into old age is an artifact of civilization.
It has been enjoyed by ourselves
(and our pets and zoo animals)
for only that last few seconds of evolutionary time ---
far too little time to affect the structure of our genes."

"The worst of it was
that I too had got beyond reason,
I could have torn the child apart
in my own fury and enjoyed it.
It was a pleasure to attack her.
My face was burning with it."

Confessing of a Great Sin Committed with a Soldier

"And now he was inside.
The confessional evening closed round him.
The crucifix glimmered in front.
A woman's mutters sounded through the space.
Forgiven, Latin, click.
A moment when all awaits.
With louder click his own slide opens
Through the cruciform gauze in the grating
the bristling ear of the priest."

The Charge of the Light Brigade
"The idea of
trying to find out what had happened to his men
or of rallying the survivors never crossed his mind.
With extraordinary indifference to danger
he had led the Light Brigade down the valley
as if he were leading a charge in a review in Hyde Park,
and he now continued to behave
as if he were in a review in Hyde Park."

"Our daughter is thirty-three
she is visiting the Hong Kong Film Festival
she has left her husband
lost eight kilos & wears a mini-skirt
when she gives a lecture at Macau University
the Vice-Chancellor snickers
pretty lady you got doctorate?"

The Whistler
"Has the man next door
buried his wife in the garden?
she doesn't whistle the hits of the 40s
anymore at the kitchen window
I can't even see her shadow against the blind
there is something ominous about that silent window
the immaculate garden shaved and vacuumed
within an inch of its life"

Great Poems of the Past
Terra Incognita
"There is a marvellous rich world of contact and sheer fluid beauty
and fearless face-to-face awareness of now-naked life
and me, and you, and other men and women
and grapes, and ghouls, and ghosts and green moonlight
and ruddy-orange limbs stirring the limbo
of the unknown air, and eyes so soft
softer than the space between the stars."

The Campus Crusade for Christ


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

Help perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
With your $10 subscription, you get
a free copy of one of the newest titles from
Mho & Mho Works

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

Visit our previous issue    Visit our present issue    Visit our next issue