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

Number 102

Late Summer 2003

Childhood in Arizona,
The Texas City Disaster, and
A Version of Love

So Many Books, So Little Time
A Year of Passionate Reading
"Anyone who presumes to love books and yet
only made it to page three
in Ellison's astounding Invisible Man
and to but the first page in Ulysses
has got such a bad case of
smugness that we must begrudge
the day we gave a minute,
much less a whole review,
to this turkey."

The Selected Poems of Howard Nemerov
"Nemerov is like Philip Larkin,
but less bitter, less hopeless,
one who can stop for a moment
up in the attic of the house,
find himself weeping:
I cried because life is hopeless
and beautiful."

Wuthering Heights
"I and my car driving along
the lonely moors of Western England,
with the cold and the wind
and the darkness of a dark family
poisoned by this gypsy-dark boy,
that cliff out of the heath."

Great Reviews of the Past
The Art of War on Land
"Napoleon favored envelopment
when attacking a weaker opponent.
He also developed all-enveloping piles,
which tormented him to distraction at Waterloo.
You cannot develop grand strategy on the battlefield
if you can barely stand to stay on your horse.
Thus, he may not have been
all that able ere Elba
because he forgot his daily dose
of Preparation H."

Poetry by and about the Police,
Rumsfield's Sonnets,
Train Wrecks, and
Alan Furst

Paul Krassner,
William Burroughs, and
Toad Slime

"We learned that hunger is insatiable,
that gorging begets feasts,
and that desire blinds.
We wondered if others had ever
discovered what we knew."

Laurel, Mississippi --- 1967
"I have almost reached
the regrettable conclusion that
the Negro's great stumbling block
in the stride toward freedom
is not the white Citizens' Council
or the Ku Klux Klanner,
but the white moderate who
is more devoted to 'order'
than to justice."

Two by Howard Nemerov
"Landscape with Figures"
"Near the Old People's Home"

"The people on the avenue at noon,
Sharing the sparrows and the wintry sun,
The turned-off fountain with its basin drained
And cement benches etched with checkerboards,
Are old and poor, most every one of them
Wearing some decoration of his damage."

Two More by Howard Nemerov
"The Mud Turtle"

"The bearded goldfish move about the bowl
Waving disheveled rags of elegant fin
Languidly in the light; their mandarin
Manner of life, weary and cynical."


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 or more of the titles from
Mho & Mho Works

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 thirty 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


Visit our Previous Issue       Visit our Present Issue       Visit our Next Issue