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

Number 141

Mid-Winter 2005 - 2006

"It's a sad story,
but those who join the army,
sign up with the police,
become card-carrying members
of the Stasi, the NKVD or the FBI
are not enrolling in
the Powder Puff Derby.
Their jobs mean killing
or being murdered,
with bombs, bullets or in-house

The Memory of Running
"We are on the road
for a couple of months
with this plump, soft-spoken,
passive, semi-angelic character,
Dostoyevski's Idiot on a bike,
Don Quixote on a Raleigh,
with adventures in Pennsylvania,
Indiana, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico."

Spanish Places
"Our most intimate moments
involved the plate of
callos (pig's intestines)
which she would order
at a local bar, and which
she devoured without fineness,
though she was good enough
to share them with me."

The Blast
"'How can a man like you
engage in such dirty work?
As a boy or young man,
you must have had a spark of decency in you.'
To his credit, he blushed.
Then stammered: 'If I don't do it,
someone else will.'"

Terrors of the Table
"For centuries,
the only cure for syphilis was mercury,
which was felt by many sufferers
to be worse than the disease.
The saying was, Twenty minutes with Venus,
twenty years with Mercury."

Urban Renewal in Los Angeles
"Negro people who could not
find housing ought to go home...
They get liquored up,
stuff themselves with marijuana,
and then they become a serious problem.
And from the housing standpoint,
we haven't the facilities
to take care of them."

Great Reviews of the Past
Mother exPosed
"Cranky daughter says,
'Let's take some pictures
of us together, topless,'
and mother says, 'Sure, why not?' ---
and promptly takes everything off.
And (unlike long-suffering Gay)
she smiles brilliantly
at the camera
all the while."

True Happiness
The Coming Race
Mass Culture and the Lourdes Shrine

Latino Kings
Listen to the Mockingbird

State Capitols
A Geezer in Paradise

The Black Dog
A Letter from a Prisoner

School Readings
"If you assign this book,
adults who watch over the curriculum
will sweep down to make your life a nightmare.
They have a deep reaction to anything
that verges on reality."

Great Articles from the Past
The Mordida
"It's the poor-man's lawyer;
it's the great grease that
makes us all equal,
from the impoverished taxi driver
to the richest businessman."

Knoxville 1915
Part I
"We are talking now of summer evenings
in Knoxville, Tennessee in the time
that I lived there so successfully
disguised to myself as a child."
Part II
"The stars are wide and alive,
they seem each like a smile of great sweetness,
and they seem very near.
All my people are larger bodies
than mine, quiet,
with voices gentle and meaningless
like the voices of sleeping birds."

Great Poems of the Past
Letter to a Substitute Teacher

"You're a girl / and I'm a boy
and that is all / we need. Please
do not look at me / like I'm silly or sick
and most of all / please do not reject
my very first love / affair."

Love Song
"A thousand tiny Persian horses slept with the moon
In the plaza of your forehead,
While four nights I bound
Your waist against the snow."


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

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Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
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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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