The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 239

Mid-Summer 2013

Each day, we receive a list
of hits from our server --- those pages (old and new)
which are being called up most often
by our readers. Here are fifteen of the most popular
reviews, poems, articles, and readings.

Les Murray: New Selected Poems
"We're trying to think of
the last time we picked up a fat
book of poetry by a single author and
got as engrossed as we did with this one."

A Straight Road with 99 Curves
"On the last night of Aitken Roshi's sesshin,
we were just settling in for the evening zazen periods when,
as if on cue, the floorboards began to rumble with
Bill Wyman's bass guitar and Mick Jagger's leering
Pleased to meetchu! Hope you guess my name!!"

New Deal Photographs
Of West Virginia 1934-1943

"There are pictures of children (dirty),
with faces (dirty),
on old bedsteads (dirty),
in dreary (and dirty) rooms."

The Poems of Carolyn Creedon
"Don't let the people at Ace Hardware
tell you you need a man.
Do pick one up anyway,
if he looks red and ripe."

The Last Frontier
"She often speaks of those
who have gone through near-death experiences
as her best possible reference.
They will all tell you that death
is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone."

Jude the Obscure
"Some believe that his novelistic silence
was brought about because of the book's reception
by the critics of his day.
But I have a better idea.
When he reread it, Hardy knew that the jig was up."

Maya Architecture
"After twenty-four hours of Mexican whip scorpions,
saw-palmetto bugs, marauding ants, mosquitos,
Glaucous Crackers, Crazy Ants, red-bordered stink bugs,
the Rufous-browed Peppershrike, dung beetles, kissing bugs,
assassin bugs, bird-eating spiders, and black Yucatan scorpions,
you like the rest of us will probably
decide to hang it up and begone."

Reinventing Bach
"I did have problems
with keeping a straight face through
Karl Richter's 1971 version of
The St. Matthew's Passion.
It was staged like Wagner.
The bass? Henry Kissinger, I swear.
Alto? Nancy Reagan. Look for yourself.
Richter? Looked like he had just gotten through
eating a bitter melon.
It's a kick. Go find it."

Great Reviews of the Past
Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos
"You can't imagine
what we went through,
listening for the fatal knock on the door
or the sound of a car pulling up."

John Barth
Kitty Burns Florey

Robert Earle
Nights in the Pink Motel

Edward R. Murrow
Women and The Mexican Revolution

Why do not you write?

Vassar Clements
"My cripple credentials have gotten me
backstage to meet, among others, Jim Croce,
Marie Osmond (don't ask) and Itzhak Perlman."

Great Articles from the Past
My New Pacemaker
"At another site
there was some discussion of whether,
despite this new battery-operated device
I now carry about with me,
my heart would keep on pounding
when I decide to pop off."

Three of Our Favorite Readings
Suicide and Motherhood
"When we were children
and frightened of the dark,
my grandmother used to say
if we kept our eyes closed
we would not see it."

After the Mastectomy
"On the left side
sat my smashed flat,
deflated boob, and on
the right side, nothing,
just a thin line of
steri-strip tape
over the actual incision.
Flat as a wall.
There were no black stitches,
no gruesome scar.
It was just gone."

Learning to Read
"Within a week or two
my hunger had turned into a feeding frenzy.
My parents were unable to separate me from books,
from morning till evening and beyond."

Ode to the Gefilte Fish
"my grandfather would eat dozens
at a time out of jars like cookies.
gelatinous bone jelly dripping
from his fingers like honey."

Derrick Asks to
See My Horns

"Derrick thought jews killed jesus.
Derrick was told by his family and fathers
sitting on wooden pews in sunday schools
in the country's midsection
jews were the children of satan.
Derrick asked to see my horns.
it is 1993."

The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World
is hot off the press.
It contains 200 or so of what we believe
to be the best articles, readings, reviews and poems
from this magazine starting with our first issue in 1995.
Here you will find all necessary information
on ordering this two-volume set
which one critic called "magic."


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

Help perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
With your $25 subscription, you get
a free copy of one or more of the titles from
Mho & Mho Works

T H E  F A C T S
Submitting Books
The best way to get books to RALPH for review.
Submitting Reviews
Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
RALPH didn't spring full-blown from the brows of the gods:
     We've been around (in different guises) for over thirty years.     
The Fessenden Fund
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent
Behind the Scenes

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

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

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