The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 204

Late Summer 2010

In our 200th Issue
we neglected to note
the best poetry books that
had come to us over
the last fifteen years.
Here are our dozen favorites.

Dining on the B&O
"Southern fried chicken,
boiled new potatoes,
beets with butter,
strip of bacon,
corn fritters.
It looks too horribly good."

The Long Song
"'Was your son
born in wedlock?'
'No, missus, him was born
in de wood ---
where be wedlock?'"

I Curse the River of Time
"Why the hell is it
that all Danes think
that all Norwegians are Swedes
and at the same time
speak such dreadful Swedish?
We are three countries
in Scandinavia,
for Christ's sakes."

Best Ever Travel Tips
"Try for free wi-fi at airports
by finding a wall adjoining
an airport lounge ---
you can often pick up
wi-fi signals intended
for elite flyers inside."

Let's Get Free
"He has a special phrase
for those who have the power
to put an end to arbitrary prosecution
and courts gone wild.
He calls them
Martin Luther King jurors."

The Evolution of Artificial Light
"Never had there been
so much light in one place ---
and it was all electric:
200,000 incandescent bulbs
traced the edges of the edifices,
and countless more lit interiors
of the massive exhibition halls."

Climate Refugees
"The Himalayan Mountains
were once white.
Now they have
become black."

Travels in the Reich: 1933 - 1945
"Even on Unter der Linden
I had the feeling that
was strolling about
in a camp organized
by bandits."

Great Reviews of the Past
America's Famous and Historic Trees
"It is said that
as the Presley funeral
party passed the tree,
one of its branches broke,
and fell thrashing,
weeping to the ground."

The Hudson River

Rom LcO'Feer

Cryptic Letters of the Month
Touch Me All Over
The Dog Product Business

Letters We Never Finished Reading
Polish Speakers Only
Fowl Play

1989 and the Cloud of Unknowing
"Here were vast,
non-violent public demonstrations,
like the Czechs who filled
Prague's Wenceslas Square
day after day in November of 1989.
Yet the western Left
did not even tip its hat."

The Bug Club
Me: I ate some grasshoppers today.
Grace: And...
Me: Pretty good, tasted like almonds.
Grace: I've never had almonds.
Me: They taste like grasshoppers.

Eskimos and the Long Winter Darkness
"Faced with long
wakeful hours in the blackness,
people crawled into their
warm beds and listened
to the recounting of stories."

Ground Black People
"A misprint suggesting
that the dish required
salt and freshly ground black people
has left the publisher reaching
for the pulping machine,
rather than the pepper grinder."

Borges at the Northside Rotary
"How queer it is to be understood by someone
on the subject of anything, given that,
     as Norman 0. Brown says, the meaning of things
is not in the things themselves but between them."


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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