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

Volume XXXII, Number 4

Mid-Winter 2002 - 2003

An American Summer,
Robbing Homes for a Living, and
Confucianism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices,
Holy Texts, Sacred Places

Billy Sunday, Hero of the Heartland
"The saloon pays nothing back
but disease and damnation and gives
an extra dividend in delirium tremens and
a free pass to hell.
It will let your wife be buried
in the potter's field and
your children go to the asylum."

Sahara: A Natural History
"When a gale is in full cry,
visibility is reduced to a few yards.
Sand penetrates everything.
There is grit in the food,
grit in the water,
grit on the sheets in the hotels.
If you close the windows against the sand,
the temperature can climb steadily,
and reach 120 degrees,
125 degrees,
and the air sears the lungs."

Charles Krafft's Villa Delirium
"His Adolf Hitler Teapot
didn't bother them,
nor the Delft pottery hand grenades.
No, it was the bunny
with a switchblade
buried deep in its back."

Great Reviews of the Past
When I Was a German
"This one I picked up,
started reading in the morning,
left it (reluctantly) to do some shopping,
got back to it in the late afternoon,
and stayed with it until three in the morning ---
and you know I hate losing my beauty sleep."

Nativity Poems by Joseph Brodsky,
Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas, and
Stories, Poems, and Drawings from Nazi-Occupied Belgrade

Jeremy Lansman
"The author also stated that
Lansman had shaved all his hair and
tattooed a large eye-ball on the upper portion of his cranium.
He was thus able to observe the sun the moon and
the stars anytime he went out for a walk
without tripping over curbs, dogs or drunks."

An Old Geezer in Paradise
A Bottle Full of Ants

"Evidently the ants take umbrage
at my relieving myself on their tiny little ant heads,
so they rise up in a snit, go raging
after the offending shower-head
the way they best know how."

Slavery and the Arabs
"Salt was profitable,
gold was more profitable still,
but no commodity was more abundant
and profitable than slaves,
and slavery was always a mainstay of Saharan commerce."

Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and the Ghosts
Part I
"How many have already passed? said the squire.
How the devil should I know? answered the knight.
Did not I tell you to keep a good account? said Sancho.
Now before God the tale is at an end,
and it is impossible to proceed."

Part II
"In his own defense Don Quixote pressed his nose
between his finger and thumb, and, in a snuffling tone, pronounced,
Sancho, thou seemest to be in great fear.
I am so, answered the squire,
but, how comes your worship to perceive my fears now,
more than ever?

Because, at present, thou smellest more than ever
and that not of amber,
replied the knight."

Ode to a Name
 "Lolita Lark, a name that sings
It makes one think of many things,
Of Nabokov and birds in flight
Of fables, love and sultry nights.
Of comic books and hose with seams
Of lingerie and girlish dreams."

Speech Over Spilled Milk
"I can make no sense of this simple data:
that I made it to Holy Christmas number
nineteen hundred and sixty-seven.
Twenty-six years of continuous hassle,
digging in pockets, the blows of official
fists, performing the legal shuffle,
flirting, faking I'm slow, unspeaking."

The Fessenden Review,
Our take on anorexia, and
What about Ralph Kramden?


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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This is the Preface and Introduction
to the book that will be called
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T H E  F A C T S
Submitting Books
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