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

Number 140

Very Early Winter 2005 - 2006

Reviews, articles, readings, and
poems from our last year or so that
continue to receive the most hits.

Out of Your Mind
"Are you in charge of your body?
What would happen if,
when you got up in the morning,
you had to turn on your liver and
heart and digestive system?
Who is it that beats your heart?
Is it not the same as the one who shines the sun?"

America's 50 State Houses
"The worst cupola (blue!)
is in South Dakota.
Gaudy but nice gold-plated doors
can be found in Arkansas.
The purest dome we found
points skyward over Wisconsin,
but it is Vermont ---
white Vermont granite, that is."

Astronomical Enigmas
"In the month of December
shepherds in and around Bethlehem
certainly weren't watching over their flocks by night
because it was too damn wet and cold
out there in the snowy pastures.
More likely they stayed home
watching over their carafes of mead
trying to warm up their frosty fingers
and toes."

Daring Steps Towards Fearlessness
"We are all of us,
already, enlightened. However,
the reasons we can't see the Buddha within:
It's too near;
It's too simple;
It's too good;
It's too vast."

Master of the Sea
"This is no simple doughty tale
of a fisherman surviving in the cays
and rocks and islands and loves
and fantasies of the Northern Brazilian coast.
And author José Sarney
is no simple doughty writer who
suddenly makes the world of dreams, fish,
and madness live."

Great Reviews of the Past
"That's all right,
that thing about calling them Norwegian Rats.
The English blamed the Gauls for syphilis,
called it The French Pox.
And in Germany,
the German cockroach
is known as the French (or Russian) cockroach.
It's nationalism in action."

Goodbye, Columbus
From Baghdad to Brooklyn

Cry Ruth
Fly Haiku
Latino Kings

Waking Up in America
Black Lips, Black Skin

Albert Camus
Nathanael West
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
How to Become a Saint

Les Triangles de Chloé
"I sink my weapon
into the canvas with the joy of liberation.
Once, for my husband that cheated on me,
a second time for the woman that
took him away from me,
several more for my therapist,
his secretary,
my father,
my mother."

Two Vestal Virgins
"They give two threepenny bits
to the gentleman at the turnstile
and begin to waddle slowly up the winding staircase,
grunting, encouraging each other, afraid of the dark,
panting, one asking the other have you the brawn,
praising God and the Blessed Virgin,
threatening to come down,
peeping at the airslits.
Glory be to God.
They had no idea it was that high."

Fauré in Greenwich Village

"Slower now, less like
the leaves, more like the rain which
almost isn't rain, more like thawed-
out hail. All this beauty in the
mess of this small apartment on
West 20th in Chelsea, New York.
Slowly the notes pour out, slowly,
more slowly still, fat rain falls."

A Nothing Day
"Roll up
the silver off the bay
take down the clouds
sort the spruce and
send to laundry marked,
more starch. Goodbye
golden- and silver-
rod, asters, bayberry
crisp in elegance.
Little fish stream
by, a river in water."


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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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
Copyright Notice
The Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Fund, Inc.

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


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