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

Volume XXXIV, Number 4

Mid-Spring 2003

How to Be Alone, and,
Carole Maso's Aureole.

The Good Men
"Once our author has
set this milk-train in motion,
what with the three generations,
the Inquisition, the dallying of
the religious heavies and
the sudden appearance of syphilis ---
it's a little hard to put on the brakes
without running off the tracks."

The "Tamarit" Poems of Federico García Lorca
"It is this raising up of the image
of the Granada of the Moors, their singing,
their story-telling, their music,
all engraved into the walls of the structure
that lies at the heart of Granada,
a great Arabic castle left over
from so many centuries before."

The Lives and Careers of John Rechy
"It was the most recent photograph, 1998.
Looking like he just inched past forty.
Did my eyes bug out at that one
(he was born two years before me).
Maybe this guy has something
I should be learning, I thought."

Great Reviews of the Past
France, Memory, and the Second World War

"During the years 1940 - 1944
there was much temporizing, turning away,
pretending that horrors were not taking place.
Thus this is a tale of collective amnesia."

Children of the Depression,
"The Squabble" by Nikolai Gogol, and
The Pacific Coast Ranges

Our Graduation Speech
Part I

"Life is a river.
Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down.
Sometimes it is stormy and rough,
at others, calm, smooth, glassy.
Oh, there are days when the channel narrows,
throws up great waves. On others,
it opens up, and one can pass as in a dream ---
whole months go by when the fresh breezes
carry one etc. etc. blah, blah..."

Part II
"Yellow squash is best cooked
like my granny did.
Chop off the ends and cut it in squares or
rounds and boil it until it's sluggish.
Put it in a drainer and
squish it a bit to get out the water.
Transfer it to a pot with
hot butter and freshly chopped basil.
Heat it a little more and
grind in some black pepper."

A Sky Filled with Japanese Zebras

"Fryers were required
to take a vow of pottery.
If you disagreed with the church
you were accused of hear say
and treated to excommunication.
An important example of this was
the Catheter movement in southern France."

Great Travel Books
Fifty-three books,
dubbed "The Outside Canon,"
a list of the best travel writing
compiled in 1996 by Miles Harvey and
the editors of Outside Magazine.

Great Readings of the Past
A Native History of Early America

"European empires in North America
allowed Indians more room to manoeuvre,
more room to adjust to change and
more room to determine how they would live.
Imperialists didn't do this because
they were embracing some early form of multiculturalism;
they did so because Indian peoples remained a force ---
or forces --- that could not be ignored."

Song of the Morning Market
"What gray moon at nine / bled your cheek?
Who gathers up your seeds / that sets the snow into flames?
What tiny point of cactus / murders your mirror?
Under the Elvira arch / I want to see you go by
to drink your eyes / and begin to cry."

Casida of the Branches
"But the branches are happy,
the branches are like us.
They are not thinking about rain.
Suddenly, as if they were trees, they are sleeping.
Sitting in water up to their knees,
two valleys awaiting the Fall."

Great Poems of the Past
"Poetry (In Motion)" and "Photograph"
"Your family carefully posed
Around the backyard swimming pool
Which will one day swallow
Your younger brother, Herbert,
Who will lie, motionless,
At the bottom of the deep end,
Before he is discovered by you."

Robert Penn Warren,
The Fictional L. W. Milam, and


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
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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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