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

Volume XXXV, Number 1

Late Spring 2003

The Lake of Dead Languages,
Jonathan Williams' Palpable Elysium,
Barbara Kingsolver's
Small Wonder

The Crazed
"There are times when
the author's words set one's teeth on edge:
I was so upset that my brain turned numb,
though my scalp went on smarting...
'How are you, Comrade Jian Wan?' he asked,
his walleyes looking me in the face...
His assertion made my gums itch...
This painting fazed me."

The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping
"This is a primer on AIDS,
and the treatment of AIDS,
and what the treatment does to destroy the body
while saving the body,
and the absolute mad-making world
of the medical professionals,
especially those who deal with the poor."

The Blessing
"There were some strange things going on.
Orr's father, a physician, lived on methamphetamines ---
and when it was time for Greg to go off to college,
gave him a bottle of a thousand to take along with him."

Great Reviews of the Past
The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
Also Zen Sex, and
Vogue Women

Contemporary American Pottery,
When the English First Arrived in Japan, and
Uniforms: Why We Are What We Wear

Part I

"We used to have longer wars
but we stopped because
people got bored and cranky when the wars
took television time away from game shows.
We have found that if we limit our wars to small countries,
for no more than one month's duration,
there will be fewer complaints."

Part II
"In Philadelphia, the revolutionary leaders Sam Adams,
John Adams, Adam Smith, Smith Barney, Tom Paine,
Peter Paine, and Paine Webber locked themselves up
for the summer until they could come up
with a name for Constitution Hall.
To this day, most everyone else
has a similar problem with Philadelphia, viz.,
I spent a whole summer in Philadelphia
one weekend."

How to Care for a Boy with AIDS

"You hold him. I will get his pills.
He will take them. But he will not remember.

Big silent blobs start welling up
in Crow Dog's dark eyes. He's dying.
Again and again.
Slowly, honey. Very slowly."

Seeing All the Way to China
(From the American Southwest)

"He would gently take his fingers,
and close my eyes so
I could see everything he saw.
All the way to China.
It was far, far away.
But so was Awee by then."

"You'll be my look-out at the beach
Tell me who is passing:
The girls in bikinis,
The boys in muscles,
The old who can still separate dark from light..."

Great Poems of the Past
"Medicine Woman
"now white women come into my shop
and ask me to bless their houses
(what's wrong with them, I want to ask)
name their grandchildren
(do I know your daughters?)
blow some smoke around / say some words, do
whatever it is you do / we want someone spiritual ---
you're Indian, right?"
"The Earth Is a Satellite of the Moon
"Apollo 8 cost a fortune, but no one minded
because the astronauts were Protestant
they read the Bible from the moon
astounding and delighting every Christian
and on their return Pope Paul VI gave them his blessing."

Elizabeth Gips,
Great Travel Books,
U. S. Army Torturing Witches,
The Rejection Slip Blues, and
Northwest Art


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 $25 subscription, you get
a free copy of one of the titles from
Mho & Mho Works
(which will soon be out of business,
thank god.)

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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