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

Number 162

Mid-Summer 2007

Past Tents: The Way We Camped
"To dry matches:
Carefully blot off
as much water as possible
with a soft cloth and then
pass them through the hair
a dozen times."

Dancing with Joy
"He thus implies
that most poetry is traditionally
morbid, woeful, lacking in sparkle,
without light, happiness and grace.
Well, he's probably right."

Talking with Patients
"The woman is in pain, dying,
alone with all the shades drawn
and in pops this
busybody asking,
What are you thinking?"

American Windmills
"If you passed through
the Great Plains
a hundred years ago,
the most obvious structure
would be a church steeple,
or a windmill.
Or what they called
the hangman's 'cradle.'"

The Bloomsday Dead
"We have to give credit
to the author's astonishing ability
to shape words and action and dialogue and,
at the same time,
move a story along
at a furious pace."

Cold Skin
"Despite our veil of religious and
social civility, given the chance,
the beast that lies nested
in all of us will uncoil,
undermining the fruits of
an uncertain evolution."

Great Reviews of the Past
An Old Wife's Tale
"Her writing is not unlike
that of the students I once had
in a course called 'Bonehead English.'
Their papers were loaded with unsupported,
arbitrary, unfounded opinions ---
stuff that would cause me to write
Source or Proof
in the margins."

Books on Disks
Agatha Christie
Gene Wilder
"Telegraph Days"
John Hersey's

Billy Joel

Wild Birds
The Folio
Waking Up in
A Just-Buried Coffin

The RALPH Folio
The West Coast
Review of Books

Pier-Luigi Zucchini
"Zucchini quickly established himself
as the leading exponent of the al diente style,
and his compositions were performed everywhere
with relish on the side."

Dream Whip #14
"A lady conductor
with dark eyes
comes into my compartment.
"--" she says.
I hand her my ticket,
she stamps it.
"-- --, --" she says.
I smile.
She smiles.
After an awkward moment or two,
she walks away."

A Plague of Locusts
"To stand in such garments
amid the grasshoppers and
shovel them into buckets or bags
while the creatures crawled everywhere
must have been almost unendurable."

The Search for Pure Water
"In a community lacking
pure-water supplies,
the closest thing to
"pure" fluid was alcohol.
Dying of cirrhosis of the liver
in your forties
was better than dying of dysentery
in your twenties."

Instant Sonnet

"Violante orders me to write a sonnet,
I've never been so pressed in my life before.
Fourteen verses, they say, are in a sonnet:
I haven't even tried and I have four."

"Maxine, back from a weekend with her boyfriend,
smiles like a big cat and says
that she's a conjugated verb.
She's been doing the direct object
with a second person pronoun named Phil."

Cow Worship
I love the cows best when they are a few feet away
from my dining-room window and my pine floor,
when they reach in to kiss me with their wet
mouths and their white noses.
I love them when they walk over the garbage cans
and across the cellar doors,
over the sidewalk and through the metal chairs
and the birdseed.


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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