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

Number 160

Late, Late (Late) Spring 2007

The Songs of Wild Birds
"The Atlantic Puffin
is somewhat like you
in the mirror
in the morning after
that incredible housewarming party
where you wowed them with
your George Bush imitations."

Goodnight, Texas
"The doctors tell me
any day I might drop dead.
Then you will be happy.
Then you can leave this
godforsaken town and
never come to visit my grave.
Weeds will cover it and
no one will every know I existed.
Then you will be happy."

"Polar exploration is at once
the cleanest and most isolated way of
having a bad time which has been devised.
It is the only form of adventure in which
you put on your clothes at Michaelmas and
keep them on until Christmas."

On Looking
"She goes on to tell of
getting lost in Cambridge,
a kid that spits as he talks,
a lopsided face on a woman,
Botticelli's picture of St. Sebastian,
her backbone my spine fused and
fixed in place with metal rods,

a woman with a half-arm which
she hides in a rolled-up newspaper."

The Mexican Books of Fate
"They were thus
not unlike the I Ching,
the volume that you and I used
to decide whether we would be going off
to Hollins or Rollins for the weekend
to party or whether we could stay home
at the university for the weekend
to get blind."

Great Reviews of the Past
Emanuel Swedenborg's Journal of Dreams
"He was an engineer
from Sweden who, at age fifty-six,
began to turn away from wheels and gears,
began to have visions of the divine.
His new world was peopled
by angels with whom
he conversed fairly regularly
(pink and blue angels,
according to William Blake)."

Muriel Rukeyser
Gabriel Rosenstock
Fighting for Franco
Locating Medical History

Dr. Phage and
The Rooster in the Wristwatch
Apt. 301

Reymundo Sanchez
Unprincipled Attack on Buddhism

Time Leap
Relativity and Alzheimer's

RALPH Goes Commercial
The Huns at the Gates

E-Mail and
Dr. Schlesinger

Vladimir Putin's Style
"Lenin was the last ruler
of the country who could
speak an educated Russian.
Stalin's Georgian accent was
so thick he rarely risked speaking in public.
Khrushchev's vocabulary was crude
and his grammar barbaric.
Brezhnev could scarcely put two sentences together.
Gorbachev spoke with a provincial southern accent.
The less said of Yeltsin's slurring diction the better."

The Zen Monks and the Governor
"When they peered into the room,
they saw the monks sitting in many different positions.
Some sat slumped forward,
their chins resting against their chests;
some sat with their heads tilted
way back and to the side;
while another sat slumped over to the left.
They sat all different kinds of ways."

Ho-Chunk Courtship
"When they woke me up in the morning
I was lying halfway inside the lodge, asleep.
After waking me up
they asked me whether
I would not stay for breakfast,
but I immediately ran away."

Weldon Kees in Mexico, 1965

"When she asks my name, I tell her
I am Richard, a good Midwestern sound.
She thinks Nebraska is a kingdom
Near Peru, and I
the exiled Crown Prince of Omaha.
I've promised to buy her a box of paints
in a shop by my palace in Lincoln.
We'll go back, Maria and I,
with the little sisters of Saint Teresa
who are just now walking across the bridge
for water to be blessed at vespers."

"I always picture their dorms at night.
Roommates, Anya and Elena
drink wine after lights-out.
The gray, forbidden cat
nudges their knees for food.
Elena pours too much milk,
filling the bowl from fingertip to knuckle."

"Thirty days ago
I got my hair cut, did laundry,
nothing of much consequence,
while they made a new deal
with their bodies, smoked packs,
slept, left friends who use.
Today I set them writing."


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
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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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