The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 183

Mid-Winter 2008 - 2009

Red Mutiny
"There is a real tension
in the story of
those eleven days:
the bitter conflicts
within the crew;
the virulence of
the forces of the Tsar;
the indecision of the 'revolutionaries.'"

Prayers and Rituals
At the Time of Illness and Dying
"She notes that some
Hindu rituals may be impracticable,
such as a funeral pyre where,
'Once the body is singed,
the son takes a stick and
cracks the deceased's skull
to release vital air and
the soul.'"

Presidential Doodles
"The most obnoxious are
ones Reagan sent to Nancy,
including one written on
a paper stamped

A Persistent Peace
"Persistent is not
the word for it.
How about non-stop?
Even obnoxious?
This Dear (sic)
just won't
give up
the war for peace."

The Romantic Dogs
"Latin America is
the insane asylum of Europe.
Maybe, originally, it was thought
that Latin America would be
Europe's hospital,
or Europe's grain bin.
But now it's the insane asylum.
A savage, impoverished,
violent insane asylum, where,
despite its chaos and corruption,
if you open your eyes wide,
you can see the shadow of the Louvre."

Passage Meditation
"What you are to learn,
the master tells us,
is that not only
are you not your body,
you are not even
your mind.
Wait till your boss
finds out about
that one."

Democracy's Prisoner
"Most of the two thousand
convicts cheered, hollered,
and called his name.
Debs turned to face them,
and for half a minute
he held his hat aloft
as their applause grew louder.
Finally overcome,
he bowed his head
and wept."

Understanding Gregory Bateson
"You forget that
the eco-mental system called
Lake Erie is part of your
wider eco-mental system ---
and that if Lake Erie
is driven insane,
its insanity is incorporated
in the larger system of
your thought and experience."

The Berlin Stories
"Having barely made it
through almost
four hundred pages
of this turkey,
we suspect that he
may be a camera,
but it was one whose lens
got smeared with too much

Great Reviews of the Past
An American Summer
"We are told
in the poop pieces
that the author, Frank Deford,
has written fourteen books,
two of which have been made into movies.
He has been a commentator
on NPR for twenty years.
If this is true,
God help what little is left
of American culture."

The Barnes Foundation
Violetta De Mazia
Jill Fredston

Joseph Welch
Joseph McCarthy

The Tao
Millions of Dollars in Iraq

Garnish and S. J. Perelman
Christian Dating

Barry O'Bama and the Vulcans
"Every country on earth
voted heavily for O'Bama
with just two exceptions.
The 55 votes from Albania tilted
51% to 49% for McCain,
and the 372 votes from
Macedonia favored McCain by a
decisive 84% to 16%."

A Bailout for RALPH
"We have to advise you
that we would be somewhat uneasy
if you were to force us
to merge with the National Review
or the Rush Limbaugh Monthly
since their worldview is a bit different
than our own."

Getting Breakfast in Auschwitz
"The orderlies were beginning
to distribute the rations.
My heart began to beat faster.
I slipped my foot
under Pressburger's body and
made it move up and down
to the rhythm of my
own breathing."

Giving Birth to Sophie
"A new name
filled my mouth,
nothing I'd previously considered,
one she herself had obviously invented
on her way to the planet.
Hello, Sophie, I said,
to the wise child who,
without a word,
would inspire me through
the first revolution
of my life."

Visit to the Convalescent
"It's 1976 and even though all the doors seem to be open,
in fact, if we paid attention, we'd be able to hear how
one by one the doors are closing.
The doors: plates of metal, reinforced iron grills, one by one
they go on closing in infinity's film.
But we're 22 or 23 years old and infinity
doesn't scare us."

"Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude."


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The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
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Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
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