The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 219

Late Fall 2011

Twelve Stars from 2011
In our General Index, we give
a silver star to the books
we think worthy of special attention.
Here are a baker's dozen
from the last few months.

Edmund Yaghjian
"Mosquitoes big as bats,
grits and corn-pone for breakfast,
turnip greens and fat-back for supper,
Spanish moss and strange fruit
hanging outside in
the live oak trees."

The Forgotten Waltz
"Sister Fiona has this problem with men:
'They don't want to shag her
so much as pine for her.'
And when the divorce proceedings start,
'Who would have thought
love could be so expensive?'"

Shooting from the Hip
"And there you have
the paradox of choosing
(or not choosing)
to record tragedy,
in its starkest form.
Many of us would turn away,
or try in whatsoever
way we could
merely to help."

The Undertaker's Daughter
"He knew where to hit me
and not leave a single mark.
He'd brag about it.
He wanted me to appreciate
the quality of his work.
Like any good teacher,
he wanted to pass it down."

"Turner reminds us that
Parker and Pinal County
were home to some
31,000 Japanese-Americans
between 1942 and 1945,
law-abiding people who would have
much rather been at home,
tending their gardens."

"'Any good memories of your
pappy back home in Ireland?'
'Yeah. There was this one day
when he beat me with his hand
because he couldn't find the shovel. still brings a lump to my throat.'"

Field Guide to L. A.
"Pocho's Illustrated Guide
shows General Kearney,
the Fort Moore Hill Cemetery,
and what looks to be
a seated lady of visiting royalty
with half-scabrous face and hands,
a Dame of Grand Lizardry."

The Necessity of Certain Behaviors
"The thing about having
a drunk for a mother
was that in order to survive,
you needed to freeze yourself
inside a block of ice."

Great Reviews of the Past
Memoirs of a Dwarf
"The oldest of old wheezes
has to do with the dwarf
that went around sticking his nose
in everybody's business.
If we are to believe
Weidner's narrator,
it's literally true."

Virgin of Juquila
Breathing in, Dust


Cryptic Letters of the Month
To Read From You
Custom Women's Shoes

Letters We Never Finished Reading
Pastor James Ologbegbekilor

The Time Travellers
"These worthies are
recommending time travel
back to the period
before the Renaissance,
to the happy age of faith
that flourished in, say,
the early 1200s."

Letter from Breslau Prison
"I believe that
the key to the riddle
is simply life itself,
this deep darkness of night
is soft and beautiful as velvet,
if only one looks at it
in the right way."

Tending a Drunk Mother
"Alex leaned over Hillary's mom
and picked up her hand,
turned it over.
Her mother didn't stir.
'Her lifeline is long,' Alex said.
'You're in for a ride.'"

In Memoriam
"This is just a place:
we go around, distanced,
yearly in a star's
atmosphere, turning
daily into and out of
direct light and
slanting through the
quadrant seasons."

It's Not Armageddon
"It's just
ash dusting the parking lot, like dandruff
brushed from the shoulder of an itchy god."


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