The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 260

Mid-Spring 2015

Why Oh Why?
For the last twenty years,
in each issue of this magazine,
we've offered our readers a
Paradox of the Month ---
a thought, a pensée, a mot
designed to befuddle the curious,
irritate the serious,
delight the contrary.
Here are a dozen we believe
to be our best.

The Possibilities
"George Washington had
dentures made out of hippopotamus tusk."
"Really," I say.
"Yeah," she says.
"Dude had hippo teeth."

K Is for Killer
"The last of the twenty-six?
No no, let us guess:
X Is for Xenophobia? Xanax?
Y Is for Yin-Yang? Yoga?
Z Is for Zygote?"

Zen Encounters with Loneliness
"Tai-san, what do you think
about Nietzche's 'God is dead?'
Soen Roshi answered,
'God is not dead,
since he was never born.'"

The Empire of the Dead
"Anyone who can view his own pericardium
and at the same time, think of the constructions
of a great architect can't be all bad."

The Footloose American
"Bolivia is land-locked, very poor,
and most of it sits at extremely high altitudes . . .
Tourists have an alarming tendency to suddenly pass out,
dropping like flies on the sidewalks."

"Having your story appear in
The New Yorker can, apparently,
be favorably compared to striking gold in your apartment wall
or being invited to dinner (alone!) with one of the founders
of Google or Facebook."

Hell and Good Company
"As we march we look around us,
Peat and bog on every hand;
Not a bird to break the silence,
Shriveled bare the oak trees stand.
We are the peat bog soldiers,
Marching with our spades to the bog."

Who We Are
When We Think No One's Looking

"Two unusual hashtags have
turned up on Tumblr and Pinterest:
#proana and #thighgap.
The first was pro anorexia
('in favor of starvation as a weight-loss technique.')
The second was 'having thighs so thin that
they do not touch when you stand
with your feet and knees together.'"

Great Reviews of the Past
Seduced by Modernity:
The Photography of Margaret Watkins
"There is a well-oiled lady on the cover.
We aren't told if it was
composed by Watkins or not.
Whatever it may be, it's a doozy:
an excellent example of Early Depression
Neo-Classic Quasi-Erotology."

Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico
"Them rich patron folks
can't understand why a painter
would high-hat them, as she did (literally)
under the shadow of
a broad-brimmed hat."

Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum

Our Cheatin' Wives

The Grand Prince of Moscow

Kosher Goyim
"We are also working to pressure
the Christian Broadcasting Network to maintain
separate TV channels for milchik and fleishik.
Our motto for these campaigns is:
Forgive them Father, for they know not what they eat."

Fear and Loathing in San Francisco
"Subsisting on two or three hours sleep a night;
going through the motions of
a full day's work at the office while
Hunter Thompson slept with his TV set
on the white noise between channels."

When Rats Find Cats Alluring
"In short,
it can make men
behave like alley cats
and women behave like
sex kittens."

Great Readings of the Past
Eskimos and the Long Winter Darkness
"For those in the northernmost
coastal villages of Greenland,
Canada, and Alaska --- where in the heart of winter,
the only natural light comes from the stars,
the moon, and the aurora borealis and
the only source of fresh water is locked in snow and ice ---
stone lamps were utterly essential for survival."

Baudelaire 1939
"Baudelaire used to come
to our house and watch
me grind coffee.
That was in 1939
and we lived in the slums
of Tacoma."

Baudelaire Hamburger
"Baudelaire opened
up a hamburger stand
in San Francisco,
but he put flowers
between the buns."

"Oh, Marcia,
I want your long blonde beauty
to be taught in high school,
so kids will learn that God
lives like music in the skin
and sounds like a sunshine harpsicord."

Great Poems of the Past
The Fly
"O hideous little bat, the size of snot,
With polyhedral eye and shabby clothes,
To populate the stinking cat you walk
The promontory of the dead man's nose,
Climb with the fine leg of a Duncan-Phyfe."


The Vivisection Mambo
will be published this year.
It consists of 125 poems
from the newly discovered
Neo-Realist School,
many discussed here
for the first time.

The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World
was published last year.
It contains 200 or so of what we believe
to be the best articles, readings, reviews and poems
from this magazine --- from our very first years to now.
If you subscribe to RALPH, you get a free copy of this anthology ---
which received the Kirkus star
and was just named by them
"One of the Best Books of 2014."

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.

On-line copies of
our predecessor magazine
b. 1985 - d. 1989,
real ink-&-paper, eclectic,
electric (but not electronic).

of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy

With your $25 subscription,
you help perpetuate honest,
noisy, pesky book reviews ---
plus ensure the survival of
this rare if odd online literary journal.
You will also receive
a free copy of our anthology,
the two-volume Best-of-Ralph
which, is, in the real world, they say, priceless.

T H E  F A C T S
Submitting Reviews, Poems & Essays
Suggestions for would-be contributors --- and payment schedule.
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.
10,000 - 12,000 Hits Daily
Over 100,000,000 Total Hits
1994 - 2014

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

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