The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 193

Mid-Fall 2009

In RALPH's "General Index"
our editors give golden stars
to the books they most favor.
Here are a baker's dozen
from the first half
of 2009.

"Crazy Sean
is telling me
he loves me and
has to kill me to save me.
He's sobbing and trying
to take the wheel.
We haven't eaten for days.
Someone is screaming.
It may be me."

The Waitress Was New
"You may
catch yourself
watching the waiter, wondering
where he came from,
where he is going,
what he wants in life."

Eleven Minutes Late
"Before 1914,
the Germans even sweetly
helped Belgium construct
a new light railway
across the frontier;
the Belgians probably thought
it might bring in
German tourists.
And so it did,
but they were
wearing uniforms."

The People's Pugilist
"In 'Chicago,'
his rage at America
seems to be at war
with admiration, but in
his writings for the
International Socialist Review,
the rage is unleavened."

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
"If there is a theme
in Mueenuddin's eight stories,
it's just that:
they'll come out of the blue,
give you a job or a love or a fortune ---
then, blap: it's gone,
you're screwed."

Beg, Borrow, Steal
"The writer thus becomes
the family gossip-monger.
Despite Greenberg's title,
his craft is not begging,
nor is it borrowing.
More likely it is
outright thievery."

Conquest of the Useless
"If you have lived
in the Amazon jungle
for any time at all,
maybe you can figure out
the whys and wherefores of
this dazzling idea.
I have not, and
after reading this book
I think I'll stay
at home, in bed."

Codes of Misconduct
Regulating Prostitution in
Late Colonial Bombay

"It is classically
ruinous to all involved.
Pleasure and pity
have to be held hostage to
the workings of
the moralistic."

First Stop in the New World
"Mother is the
magic word in Mexico.
I mentioned that mine was ill.
But the kidnapper assured us
that they all had mothers,
wives, and children."

Great Reviews of the Past
The American People in World War II
"'Area' bombing attacks on
Germany and Japan were not
restricted to military
production installations...
American pilots referred to
those bombing runs as
'women and children days.'"

Michelangelo and
Cottage Water Systems

Mutation of the
Microcondrya Genetic Order

Cryptic Letters of the Month
Fashion Belts,
Ladies Hand Bag and
Water Closets

Letters We Never Finished Reading
The Late George Brumley

Chronicle of the Time of Troubles
"The dynasty of
Ivan the Terrible
died out when the last heir
of the Terrible lineage,
Dimitri Terrible,
succumbed to assassination,
his family's occupational hazard."

Does She Have a Plan?
"'Why are you up there?'
the doctor asks me, baffled.
Jeff and I stare at him.
Finally Jeff says,
'Because she's crazy.'"

Hyenas and Wriggle-Worms
"The mules were
walking hives of horse-flies.
If a man passed his hand
under a mule's belly,
the noise made by the
disturbed horse-flies was
like that of a myriad of
swarming bees."

"The future is a grey seagull
Tattling in its cat-voice of departure.
Age and terror, like nurses, attend her,
And a drowned man, complaining of the great cold,
Crawls up out of the sea."

Great Poems of the Past
Why They Do It

"Raymond drinks because Marie's too smart.
Jack drinks because Florence won't.
Lucille and Bob don't drink because everyone else does.
Raymond drinks because of all the women he'll never have.
Dick just drinks to empty the keg."


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along with author, subject, and publisher,
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since 1994.

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Behind the Scenes

The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
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The Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Fund, Inc.

Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176

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