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

Volume XXXV, Number 3

Very Early Summer 2003

Juke Joints of Mississippi,
Covered Bridges of New York,
and D. H. Lawrence's The Fox

Tumbling After
"I don't care
if you are interested in quadriplegics or
chance accidents out of the blue or
disability rights or the secret lessons
the body has to teach us ---
forget your prejudices
or even your interests and
get this one and
settle in with it and
shut up."

The Madness of Art
"Philip Larkin didn't like literary snoops
any more than Vladimir Nabokov did,
and the only reason he let
the editor of this volume
in his door is that
(1) he knew his time was drawing nigh, and
(2) he didn't let Phillips in his door.
The interview was conducted entirely by mail."

The Story of My Life
"Sometimes, it is true,
a sense of isolation enfolds me like a cold mist
as I sit alone and wait at life's shut gate.
Beyond there is light, and music,
and sweet companionship; but I may not enter.
Fate, silent, pitiless, bars the way.
Fain would I question his imperious decree;
for my heart is still undisciplined and passionate..."

Great Reviews of the Past
A Fly for the Prosecution
"Given the grim work,
you'd suspect that this Goff would be a grim guy.
Nonsense. This is one of the merriest books
I have picked up in weeks:
We had lunch together at the Willows Restaurant...
By the end of the meal we had decided that
if we could discuss maggots and decomposing bodies
while eating curry over rice,
we could probably work together."

The WWI Christmas Truce,
Fun and Frolic with Sex-Change Operations, and
Choosing the Right College

Finding the Spammers
"I called one site owner, a school book seller.
It didn't seem they would be selling pictures of naked people.
The woman who answered the phone sounded just like a school teacher.
She was astounded that their site had been hijacked, by.... uh...
well, you know."

Memphis Minnie

"Through the smoke and racket
of the noisy Chicago bar float
Louisiana bayous, muddy old swamps,
Mississippi dust and sun, cotton fields,
lonesome roads, train whistles in the night,
mosquitoes at dawn, and the
Rural Free Delivery, that never brings the right letter. "

Quadriplegia and Therapy
"What's the point?"
I asked sarcastically.
Ralph doesn't think about it.
He's got far bigger challenges than sex.
It's not important.
It's not even possible."

Ravensbrück Love Poem
"Your body was thin as my own, / Your eyes as large. Your eyes
Were my own, were they not? / The lice (rich with our blood)
Fed lovingly, supping on the / Nectars of your heart:
Bloodlust dropping off / On the dusty floors."

World War I,
Hydrothermal Vents,
Partially Hydrogenated Memory, and
The Other RALPH (Again)


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.
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a free copy of one or more of the titles from
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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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