The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 188

Very Early Summer 2009

A Year in Letters
RALPH gets dozens
of emails each week:
some are grouchy,
some rib-tickling,
some appear out of far left field.
Here are a baker's dozen ---
some of our favorites
from the last year or so.

Somewhere Towards the End
"The writing is
all very English,
made even more charming
by the strange phrases
that pop up:
'weak and dozy,' 'popple,'
'munching the pudding,'
'gone off the boil' (sexually)."

The Story of Class Violence in America
"O you anarchic scum,
you cowardly murderers,
you leeches upon honest labor,
you midnight assassins,
you whose hands
are dripping with the innocent
blood of your victims."

My Two Polish Grandfathers
"Shimmering above all this
is a loving portrayal of
his ancient noble Polish family,
destroyed by the violence
known as the 20th Century."

The Face of War
"The images represent
a 'visual violence'
that has the potential
to challenge and subvert
the many words written
about the war."

Eat, Memory
"As soon as the elderly waiter
placed before me the fish I had ordered,
it began to stare up at me
with its one flat, iridescent eye.
I feel sorry for you, it seemed to say,
eating alone in this awful restaurant
bathed in such unkindly light
and surrounded by these dreadful murals of Sicily."

The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy
"This might be less
a study of mid-nineteenth
century dissection techniques
and more a peek at
prevailing English medical practice,
printing techniques and urban life."

Race, Incarceration,
And American Values

"The price is high.
The third largest employer
in the United States --- after
Manpower and Wal-Mart ---
is 'corrections.'"

Sex and Bacon
"She's now retired from
being a sex worker and
lives in Seattle where
she writes books,
never has enough money
to pay the bills,
and has a passion
for pumpkins."

Great Reviews of the Past
Another Day of Life
"Would our correspondents
in Bataan or Pusan
or Inchon have said
I can't explain it?
Would Ernie Pyle have said
I can't explain it?
Maybe that is what makes
Kapuscinski so inviting."

Karol Young

Richie Havens

RALPH's Prescribers
Disability Poetry

Cryptic Letters of the Month
Haughty Men
Sprongbox Baby

The Stranger
"We watched black butterflies
the size of salad plates
cruise by very slowly
with little polleny-type
clouds around them.
These flowers were
from another planet."

The Mute
"Whether he had
the ability to speak
and chose not to,
no one seemed to know.
Could he have a
voice that he never used?
Did he practice when
there was no one to hear?"

First Day in Sixth Grade
"Everyone gets to wear
something new and
tries to act more grown-up
than the year before,
but they forget
and start hitting you
and running around,
so everything's the same."

Pinched Toes
"At the start of the day
I yelled at little Benjie for spilling his cereal,
then I pulled Gloria's hair too hard when it wouldn't
twist into an even braid."

Terror Eye
"Last time I saw Tina she wore dark glasses
that didn't cover her purple eyes or blue cheek
and there really isn't any way to hide a broken arm
she ran away from me."


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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