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

Number 156

Mid-Winter 2006-2007

In our General Index,
we award stars for
style and plotting (fiction),
style and content (non-fiction),
verve and originality (poetry),
and layout and beauty,
(art and photography books).
These are our stars for 2006.

"Malinelli never expected
that the emissaries of Quetzalcóatl
would smell so bad.
Cleanliness was common practice
among the natives.
The Spaniards, on the other hand,
did not bathe,
their clothes reeked, and
neither water nor the sun
could rid them of their stench."

Tales from Nowhere
"There was a scattering of markets,
and a restaurant
that served us an unremitting diet
of bananas and stewed rat ---
except for one golden day
when we were given a plate of
a darker and marginally
more succulent meat that,
after we had eaten it,
was said to have been cat."

Stanley Moss Selected Poems
"Most typically,
poems are concerned with
love, the moon, stars, night,
the sea, and other like matters.
Moss's verse features paeans to hats,
kangaroos, menstruating dogs, vomit,
'poopoo' and snot."

"To write a suitable
chiller-diller mystery short story,
one must compact enough information
(to get the reader involved),
but not too much (to bore)
nor too little (to confuse).
The writer must start out
with a bang,
and end,
not with a whimper,
but with another bang.

Blood Brothers
"He and his three friends are on
a new trip. They are only beginning
to live with what the disabled poet
Mark O'Brien called
the gift that keeps on giving.
What they don't know, or --- better ---
what they are just beginning to learn,
is that this disability business
is open-ended."

Great Reviews of the Past
Presence in the Flesh
"Drapes, gloves,
eye aversion, and leg position
interpose evidential boundaries between
the physician and his perception
of the patient.
The intent of these arrangements
appears to be to ensure that this,
the touchiest of transactions,
can transpire wholly
within the reframe;
the patient wholly object,
silent and passive;
the physician wholly operator,
concentrated and active."

Jews in Mussolini's Italy
The Environmental History of
Phoenix and Tucson

Michael Ingall
Sumner Redstone & Viacom

Louis XVI
The Sistine Chapel

Animal Rights
Cryptic Letters of the Month

Mosquitoes and Tow-Trucks
"We arrive in
the city of Oaxaca
five days later to find
tanks in the Zócalo,
soldiers standing about with rifles,
spray-paint on the walls,
burned-up tipped-over cars everywhere,
and the worst insult of them all,
the grand cafés that serve
the thick, inspirational chocolate
completely shut down. "

The Las Vegas of Spain
"It is one of the
many mysteries of the wine trade
that an identical vine,
growing in identical soil
at Jerez de la Frontera,
should produce a fino sherry,
while at Sanlúcar
it produces the austere and pungent

Another Victory Like This
And Our Goose Is Cooked

"Because of a series of victories
by our troops in Iraq,
we have stayed on to assure
a steady supply of petroleum,
to give the citizens of that country
a taste of American democracy in action,
and to allow our young folk
a chance to enjoy
a forested area
in the city of Baghdad
known as 'The Green Zone.'"

This Poem

"This poem may contain traces of nuts.
It will not save your life.
This poem remembers when T. S. Eliot
was the name of a poet, not a prize.
This poem sleeps in its clothes.
It smells of old damp dog."

The East-West Border
"The East-West border is always wandering,
sometimes eastward, sometimes west,
and we do not know exactly where it is just now:
in Gaugamela, in the Urals, or maybe in ourselves."


All the back-issues of RALPH,
including titles of books under review,
along with author, subject, and publisher,
plus links to readings, articles, and poems
that have appeared on-line
since 1994.

of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy

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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
Behind the Scenes

The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
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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