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

Number 153

Mid-Autumn 2006

The Wisdom of Wilderness
"This is a bespectacled,
middle-aged psychiatrist,
a respected religious figure,
admitting to the fact that
he went off one night and
sang and played with the bugs
in the trees
of the forest."

Snapshots of Bloomsbury
"The other woe,
for those who love her,
is the sad Woolf.
Who wrote a play. In 1935.
Called Freshwater.
There is a photo of
Angelica Bell in the play,
laid back in the water,
eyes closed,
all in white,
'presumed drowned.'"

"The louse under the shirt
of the Sunday parishioner leaves
St. Mary's unblessed.
No matter how its host prays.
Eyes screwed shut.
Hands folded.
Beseeching hard.
A next life, please,
with no biting and
sucking insects."

Islamic Calligraphy
"Professor Blair points out
the spaciousness of the characters,
'twenty-five letters per page.'
For a casual observer,
it is a leisurely sequence of
unknown and artful characters
that might well represent
armies and boats
under sail."

Death of a Dreamer
"They say that
Ms. Beaton has churned out
twenty Hamish Macbeth detective stories,
along with fifteen with a
lady detective named Agatha Raisin.
Agatha? Raisin? Hamish?
Has Great Birnam Wood
come to high Dunsinane Hill
at last?"

Butterfly Boy
"He likes mariposa
most of all, 'an allusion to
the feminine fluttering of eyelashes.'
He neglects to mention
lilo (purple) and the current favorites,
maricornflay (a strange marriage of
'buttterfly' and 'cornflakes'), and
Gaytorade, from the drink
of the same name."

Great Reviews of the Past
A Practical Guide to Aging
"Anxiety, Memory Loss,
'Behavioral Problems,'
High Blood Pressure,
High Cholesterol, Chest Pains,
Sleeplessness, Constipation ---
you name it, we've either got it or
it's waiting just around the corner
to run out and bite us
on the ass."

The Discomfort Zone
Buddhist Meditation for Beginners

Martin Gilbert
Mark Thornton
Sarcastic Reviews

Susan Parker
Darlene Cohen
Disability and Pain

Great Letters of the Past
Ralph Ginzburg
Go Back to Canada

The American Opium Trade
"China is providing the West and
the rest of the world with
very low credit and
very low interest rates,
which is creating addiction
in the form of borrowings and
spending and leading to
hallucinations in the form of
asset prices."

Great Articles of the Past
Going Quackers
"On my tenth birthday,
my dad gave me two Pekin ducks.
Since they looked exactly alike,
I called them Kate and Duplicate.
My sisters said no.
'Their names are Pete and Repeat,' they said.
I was outvoted three to one."

Copulation in 1780s Rural England
"The rub and thump of mating
rouses the parish in spring.
Restless pairings, quick conjugations.
Overspill of seed.
Coop, stable, sty, and fold.
The fevered opportunity of every encounter."

Great Readings of the Past
Saving the Deputy
"I diplomatically suggested to
Keating that nobody in New York
knew or cared who he was,
but that he could become famous overnight
if he, a Catholic publisher,
headed a committee to defend the
Pope-baiting play."

On Teaching

"IS LOVE FAIR? --- my blackboard question
for the hour. Who cares? is what these two
might say, arriving as they do each day, hand
in hand, his shirt wrinkled as a bed sheet,
her's all midriff, hardly there."

Poem for a Daughter
"A woman's life is her own
until it is taken away
by a first particular cry.
Then she is not alone
but part of the premises
of everything there is:
a time, a tribe, a war.
When we belong to the world
we become what we are."

Little Paul and the Sea
"He's so small
the sea won't
look at him at all,
rising up
in a net-white heap,
falling dead
on the sand at his feet."


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along with author, subject, and publisher,
plus links to readings, articles, and poems
that have appeared on-line
since 1994.

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