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

Volume XXXII, Number 2

Late Late Fall 2002

Albert Speer,
Morley Baer's Barns, and
Roy Jacobstein's Ripe

The Chrysler Building:
Creating a New York Icon, Day by Day
"One of the miracles is that
somehow those who own New York City have not yet
decided to murder the Chrysler Building,
that sweet monument to the Moderne.
It went into bankruptcy a quarter century ago,
but the Trump and Zeckendorf types
must have been too busy with other massacres,
obviously didn't have time to do it in."

The Eden Express
A Memoir of Insanity
"We were helpless against this war
put on by strange automatons in Washington,
a war that took on a life of its own:
helicopters raining down Agent Orange on peasant farmers,
helpless people being murdered in the fields,
a vicious present from a country
that had always pretended to honor life and liberty."

Paris 1919
Six Months that Changed the World
"It's filled to the brim
with the weird and waggish people
who participated in one of
the strangest gatherings of all times."

Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper
"She has an annoying habit of
dropping French phrases all over the place
so we'll know this is happening
in Paris and not Kansas City ---
phrases like 'Mais non' and 'Oui' and 'Et bien' and
'Et toi?' sprinkled about hither and yon
like dogshit in the springtime garden."

Great Reviews of the Past
Double Down
"These two --- Rick and Steve ---
sometimes we, sometimes I, sometimes he,
add up to something more than one but less than two,
becoming, finally, a peculiar inversion of schizophrenia."

The Holy Longing:
The Hidden Power of Spiritual Yearning,

Andreï Makine's Music of a Life, and
The Prose-Poetry of Gabriel Mistral

Lab Rat
A Medical Memoir
"I treat each spike of pain
shooting down my leg with a grunt,
and accompany the lower back part of the experience
with groans in the key of B-flat.
It is machine-like, utterly automatic,
analagous to the philosopher Descartes' conception
of the animal as an atomaton."

Georges Clemenceau
Part I

"In Paris he frequently dropped in to see
Monet's great panels of the water lilies.
They take my breath away whenever I enter that room.
He could not bear Renoir's painting:
It's enough to disgust you with love forever after.
Those buttocks he gives those wenches ought not to be allowed."

Part II
"Now, Raymond old chum,
Clemenceau had said
before his first cabinet meeting,
are we going to fall in love?
Six months later, Poincaré was
complaining bitterly that Clemenceau
was not consulting him."

About the Tale of an Old Bay Fisherman
"Have you ever gone
someplace near the Bay
and tried sitting by a grumpy,
lispy lipping leper?"

When Billy Collins Met Anne Sexton
"Have you got anything around this place
I can kill myself with again?
He hesitates, awkwardly trying to close
the open pages of the Victoria Secret catalogue.
He is embarrassed by the end tables
with genitals he owns and wishes he hadn't
been playing Art Blakely so loud."

Great Poems from the Past
Moon Dog Song
"I have nothing against him
And he, I trust, has nothing against me
And my frozen moment of darkness
Coming up the stairs."

Further Correspondence
on the Poetry of Louise Glück,
The Whereabouts of Hortense Powdermaker, and
Anti-Matter and Diplomatic Cargo

Paul Magee on Nudism,
Multiple Personality Disorder
and the High Rise Novel,
God's Pain, Woe and Misery


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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