The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 263

Mid-Summer 2015

Each month, for the last twenty years,
we've posted the many letters that
have come into this magazine:
friendly, unfriendly, charming, gross, or just
your normal missive from out the blue.
Here are some that are the most beloved
(or the most peculiar).
The Insect Cookbook
"Beetles: he likes to grind them in a powder,
in which he will roll carrots, which are
'browned and tasty.' He also makes ant
with 'fermented cricket,' which
'explodes in your face.'"

Cultural Encyclopedia of the Penis
"It's very academic;
in fact, so academic that I managed to
go off into Wolkenkuckucksheim not once,
not twice ... but thrice, one for
each of the three editors."

"We find that Alan Turing was
a man who believed in the truth ---
his own, above all --- coupled with a man
who was simply fun to be around:
cheerful, lively, stimulating,
comic, brimming with boyish enthusiasm."

Time Ages in a Hurry
"'Nefelomanzia' he tells her, is
the art of predicting the future by
observing the clouds, or rather,
the form of the clouds,
because in this art,
form is substance."

Doctors Without Borders
"When MSF goes into a country suffused in civil conflict ---
Darfur, Sudan, and the Kivu region of the Congo ---
should it stay away from any controversy?
Or should the organization use this chance
to point to the world the roots of physical harm
devastating the citizens of that country?"

White Hunger
"All autumn people have come
just to have animal bones ground into flour.
Not a single grain, just bones, gnawed white.
Sometimes I think that soon, when his time comes,
I'll grind his bones too to make fine flour."

I Refuse
"My man's a garbage man
He drives a garbage truck
He smells like garbage all the time.
Someday in future life
I'll be his garbage wife
I'll smell like garbage all the t...i...m...e time."

The Chair
"I look through the files in my computer.
Blondes are disappearing from my poems:
the one who had tried to poison me with developer fluid;
the one I ran over with a motorcycle."

The Emperor, C'est Moi
"Autism. The word does not appear in the book, anywhere,
nor does any particular scene make the diagnosis evident.
It isn't that there isn't bad behavior everywhere, because there is.
It's just that the cause isn't specified.
It feels like a lot of disaffected adolescent fiction:
angry, accusatory."

Great Reviews of the Past
African-American Images
From the Dawn of Photography

"The pictures are haunting,
mystical --- moments in time
preserved in amber, in this case,
sepia, from 150 years ago."

Broken Land
Poems of Brooklyn

"The touchstone here is
not in having some great, some good, and
some so-so poems; rather, it is the ability
to show a uniformly high, rich collection,
where damn near all the poems are touching, funny,
alive in some magic way."

Another Letter from
Warren Buffet

Edward Everett

Twisted Spoon Press

The Evening the World Ended
"He had the intense, goggle-eyed stare
made popular by Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann,
and like her he claimed to be a Messenger from God."

Great Articles from the Past
"A scandal fueled entirely by
innuendo had been hideously successful.
Fatty's time was past."

Fighting Father
"He didn't reach for his leg although
his ankle was bent at an unheard-of angle,
an angle never seen,
and he did not make a sound,
not a sigh, not a groan,
and I fell to my knees and
held his head and said:
'Does it hurt, Dad,' and then I said:
'Daddy, Daddy, does it hurt a lot,' I said."

Atget's Paris Streets
"They are not lonely, merely without mood;
the city in these pictures look cleared out,
like a lodging that has not yet found a new tenant.
It is in these achievements that Surrealist photography
sets the scene for a salutary estrangement between
man and his surroundings."

To a Nose
"It was a like a badly-shaped sundial,
pensive and still,
it was an elephant turned upside down,
it was Ovid's nose, but ... nosier."

"My childhood was too long.
I didn't grow up
before I become old. I begin to like ellipsis.
The missing penguin found refuge
in a bathtub
Morning rushed in like a rhino. Flowers and mistakes
were in the middle of the room. And now we have ham and eggs."

Great Poems of the Past
Death Is Sitting at
The Foot of My Bed

"Ms. Death announces she'll make up the bed.
I beg her not to bother: just leave it like that.
She insists and replies that our date's for tonight,
snuggles down and adds that she's in love and in the mood."


The Vivisection Mambo
will be published later this year.
It consists of 125 poems
from the newly discovered
new Neo-Realist School,
many exposed 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 was just listed by Kirkus as
"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.

b. 1985 - d. 1989
Our predecessor magazine received
enthusiastic encomiums from media writers at
The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times,
The San Francisco Chronicle,
and on
National Public Radio --- among others.
You can now find links here to all thirteen riotous issues.

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 - 2015

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

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