The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 213

Late Spring 2011

From the very beginning
we have regularly received
interesting, beguiling (if not scurrilous)
letters from our readers.
Here are a dozen or so of the best
from the early years of RALPH.

Abbott Awaits
"Then it will be time
to go inside to get some
maple syrup rubbed in his hair,
at which point he'll be busy
clenching his jaw and reminding himself
over and over that stewardship
is a privilege, that he lives
an enviable life."

The Highway of the Atom
"The whole of mankind is potty.
If the world is mad,
what can we use as a bellwether
to measure this madness?
If we live in a world full of nut-cases,
who is to define sanity?"

Andy Warhol
"The only thing it changed
was the incredulity of the masses
who viewed a large silkscreen of
something they saw every day
stacked up in the local Piggly-Wiggly
and then rightly wondered,
as we all should,
why such could sell
for $11,000,000."

Otherwise Elsewhere
"We suffer too often as the shipwrecked do,
arguing almost every day with imaginary neighbors
on an island charted by blind map makers."

Missing Believed Killed
"Baxter survived, we suspect,
because of his spirit of forgiveness.
He even maintained contact
with one of the more
humane of his guards."

All Eyes
"The bridge between the hearing
and the deaf is frail.
One study stated that only
three percent of hearing-deaf marriages
actually work."

Hirare North
"Time and ability
plus double capacity
have force my pen
to dance automatically
on this paper.
I hope this letter
find you in good health,
if so, doxology."

The Ring Is Closed
"We were blessed,
we were like animals.
We lay down together
in our ruination and
we slept together.
When we woke up
we said nothing,
just got up and walked."

Nemesis Reworked
We reviewed Philip Roth's
new novel in our
Spring 2011 issue.
But our reviewer had second thoughts,
asked that we permit him to
revisit the novel
one more time.

Great Reviews of the Past
White Waters and Black
"There are bees which
get into one's ears and nose and hair,
where they become hopelessly entangled;
and if there is anything
more terrifyingly uncomfortable than
an insect lodged in one's ear,
it is not known to science."

Morley Baer

Hirotada Ototake
Bookmarks for Belgium

Cryptic Letters of the Month
I Never Forget You

Letters We Never Finished Reading
Wicked Rebels

Great Articles of the Past
Statement before the Government Committee
"In short,
the proposed operation
will bring necessary
government funds
into the city,
erase persistent
hard-core unemployment,
give the whole
community new self-respect,
and provide a continuing
source of funds
to the willing,
hard-working citizens of
this desperate district."

Cleaning up Vomit
"The following propositions
are both true:
(A) Abbott would not,
given the opportunity,
change one significant
element of his life, but
(B) Abbott cannot stand
his life."

"Alamogordo is like
a seashore town with no water.
No sea. Just the waves
of the desert lapping up over
the Walmart parking lot,
drifting down the streets."

"Toponyms, I was quickly reminded,
are not just names ---
they are forms of knowledge
that pertain to a way of life;
they have their own stories,
histories, and practices."

Great Poems from the Past
Who Slammed Doors For Fun
And Perished Miserably

"A trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming doors.
A wealthy banker's little daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this furious sport."

Lightning With Stag In Its Glare
"And ahead of us, on a sandy hillside,
the Jet Propulsion Lab; the elegant equations there that worked
inside of women & men & machines. And beyond all of this
was compassion."


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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The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
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Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176

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