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

Number 132

Very Early Mid-Summer 2005

Isaac Bashevis Singer
And the Lower East Side
"The author runs into
Mrs. Pupko at the Automat.
'She still had her beard and
wore a man's hat and shoes.
She immediately limped over
to my table and sat down
as if she had an appointment
with me.'"

Jung Stripped Bare
By His Biographers, Even
"His most famous vision,
which he produced at age eleven,
showed God perched on a golden throne,
high above the cathedral at Basel,
letting loose a giant turd.
Which demolished the roof."

Last Places on Earth
Eric Meola Photographs
" Unless you have the panache of
Anthony Lane, James Agee or
Pauline Kael (on movies), or
Edmund Wilson, H L Mencken or
Lolita Lark (on novels) ---
how can any ordinary reviewer tell you
the good or the bad of photographs,
especially such yummy ones as these?"

"They sprouted out of
a socket behind my bookcase and
in a matter of days had
gutted my copy of Winesburg, Ohio,
eviscerated my beloved Modern English Usage
by H. W. Fowler, and were well
on their way throughDzogchen Essentials
before I caught up with them."

Great Reviews of the Past
Spiegel: The Man Behind the Pictures
"Peter Ustinov was present while
a young American doctor tried to
revive the dead Spiegel by
pummeling his great chest.
Give him the kiss of life,
the doctor urged Ustinov,
who demurred from
doing the useless act.
Alive or dead, Ustinov said,
I would not kiss Sam Spiegel."

Enrico Pea
Ezra Pound
José Luis González
Enchanted Vagabonds

Hoagy Carmichael
Christian Meditation
Children's Literature

Spivy's Roof
Part I
"I cannot for the life of me
remember more than a couple of lines of Hamlet
that I was taught in that Prussian military school.
But to this day I can recite
most of the words, along with the intonations
and the riffs --- and the pauses for laughs ---
of 'The Cat.'"
Part II
"She didn't belong west of the Hudson.
It was too far from that
sophisticated, very sly, caged-in world
of post-WWII New York where she
brought culture to Buffalo,
told of the adventures of 'that pansy cat,'
and sang of the mysterious lady,
Dressed up as a fellow,
In a suit of real bright yellow."

The Smiles that Come in the Night
"But they hung above me
like a stain on the air,
a register of smiles in space,
smiles without pity,
smiles without love,
smiling smiles of unsmiling smileness;
not even smiles of strangers
but smiles of no one,
expanding in brilliant silence,
persistent, knowing, going on and on...
till I was screaming and
beating the bed rails."

The Writer as Traitor
"My best book is
the one I'm in
the process of writing;
right after it comes
the last one that was published,
but I'm secretly getting ready
to be disgusted with it
before long."

The Chattanooga Choo-Choo
The Ballad of Cora Lee
"The line out of Chattanooga was not
(I must now state, your honor)
Drawn by the gods, though it lifted us above rills
Fitted out in Kotex and hot wet Trojans.
All our night failures came out of this dark,
Sent to haunt us and our out-of-body fancies."

Ode to My 1977 Toyota
"Why do I have so many questions, and why
are the answers like the animals that dart in front of your headlights
as we drive home from the coast, the Milky Way
strung across the black velvet bowl like of the sky like the tiara
of some impossibly fat empress who rules the universe
but doesn't know if tomorrow is December or Tuesday or June first."

Ode to the Potato
"And only a 100 years later
       in The Merry Wives of Windsor Falstaff cries,
'Let the skie raine Potatoes,' for what would we be
        without you --- lost in a sea of fried turnips,
mashed beets, roasted parsnips?"



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.

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as collected in the hard-copy

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Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176


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