The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 211

Early Spring 2011

Twelve Great Poems
In each issue
over the past years,
we have published
what we think of as
the Best of World Poetry.
Here are a few of the editors favorites.

Re:viewing Egypt
"The main national
products of Egypt are
sweat, babies, noxious trash,
overblown traffic-jams,
and dung."

The Illumination
"Once you pass the first millimeter,
it doesn't hurt any more,
it just does more damage.
In fact, it hurts less,
because the shock mechanism kicks in.
At least that's been my experience."

The Masters Speak
"Believe in only
what you have seen and felt.
Pay especial attention to
out-of-the-ordinary visions
that come through meditation,
along with fantasies, dreams,
and any and all
mystical insights."

Between Terror and Tourism
"Mewshaw doesn't need
a splendid vista,
nor a stiff drink;
what he really needs is
a tough editor and
some happiness pills
to make this sweaty,
mosquito-filled journey
a bit more of a lark."

Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers
"There is a prolific
venous blood supply
surrounding the gland.
Even the best surgeons
can end up operating
in a pool of blood,
without a clear view of
the object they are trying
delicately to remove."

Closing the Window
"I rose up
to open to my beloved;
and my hands
dropped with myrrh,
and my fingers with
sweet smelling myrrh,
upon the handles of the lock."

A Return to Servitude
"This is a fine book,
and I think the author (and I)
would appreciate the irony of
your taking it along with you
on your next visit to
the Yucatan."

Great Reviews of the Past
The Fairest Fowl
"The smartest chicken
I ever ran across was a
Bearded Quail Belgian
D'Anvers Bantam
which is quite a handle
for such a compact little thing."

Animal Lovers
Vietnam Veterans and
Walter Reed Hospital

Hurricanes and Gold
(and Slaves)

Cryptic Letters of the Month
Obscured Businesses
Letter Boxes
Water Closets

Letters We Never Finished Reading
Ships in the Night
The United Nations

Great Articles from the Past
The Use Of Force

"Put her in front of you
on your lap, I ordered,
and hold both her wrists.
But as soon as he did
the child let out a scream.
Don't, you're hurting me.
Let go of my hands.
Let them go I tell you.

Then she shrieked
terrifyingly hysterically.
Stop it! stop it!
You're killing me!"

Bertrand Russell
"I have sought love
because it brings ecstasy,
ecstasy so great that
I would often have sacrificed
all the rest of life
for a few hours of this joy."

To Bury a Friend
"I should mention that
our burying Val without
an official ceremony or license
or even a coffin is
a crime I have not, technically
speaking, confessed to.
I'm leaning on your
(legally binding)
pledge of confidentiality,
and acting on your encouragement
to be frank."

Red Dwarves
"The world has reached its end.
You and the cat and the ten or so others
huddle in a condo in Venice Beach
from which the dimming sun is most visible."

The Bible Is God's Personal Letter to You
"Certainly in this garden
there were some adventures with animals
other than the snake ---
Lions, monkeys, alligators:
these are interesting animals
and I'm sure they had their follies."


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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