The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

www.ralphmag.org   

Number 168

Winter 2007 - 2008

NEW TITLES
American Skin
"When the SUV crashed into
a tree at 120 mph,
Karen 'shot through the windshield,
hitting the tree with her head,
crushing the neck down into the torso.'
When Dade got out of his truck,
he saw Karen, said
'Hanging out, babe?'"

Saraminda
"A fine writer
ending up as President of
the sixth largest country
in the world?
Can you ever ever picture
the President of the United States
being revealed to have written
a lusty funny tale of
fishermen and monsters and
passion."

Contemporary Russian Poetry
"Smoking you, the sweetest Gauloise,
to stupor, to greedy tears in my eyes,
swallowing the sensitive French tobacco
until my lungs are heavily loaded ---
to me you're a first-rate cigarette!"

The Airmen and the Headhunters
"Normally, the head
would then be stuck
on a pole and smoked,
a process that might
take a week.
The heads would then
be carried around the village
in a festive procession.
What brutes, eh?"

Starting Out in the Evening
"He is a man
who is not pretty,
not funny, certainly not too wise;
a man who has
the temerity to believe
that the 'primary human need ---
stronger than the need
for food or sex or love ---
is the need for recognition,
the need to make a mark
on the world.'"

Woodward and Bernstein
"The ultimate evil acts
of Nixon --- including 3500
bombing sorties resulting in more than
half-a-million deaths in Cambodia ---
are far more ugly than having
doltish Maurice Stans
hitting up corporate shills for
tens of thousands of dollars."

Great Reviews of the Past
Isaac Bashevis Singer and
The Lower East Side

"In less than 5,000 words,
Singer has caught a whole culture
(New York Jewish writers),
eccentrics (a woman with
beard and cigar), and
the madness of grief
You've killed my husband!"


BRIEF REVIEWS
Tibetan Cooking
The Power of Flies


LETTERS
Take Me Out
to the Seder

MORE LETTERS
RALPH
Name-Change

EVEN MORE LETTERS
Sexy Haiku


ARTICLES
American Victory in Iraq

"Iraq has
115 billion barrels
of known oil reserves.
That is more than
five times the total
in the United States.
And, because of
its long isolation,
it is the least explored
of the world's oil-rich nations.
A mere two thousand wells
have been drilled
across the entire country;
in Texas alone
there are
a million."

Great Articles of the Past
It's 'Nudnick,' Not 'Noodnick'
[Part I]

"Q: Are there any devices
you use to get yourself
[to start writing?]
A: No, I don't think so.
Just anguish.
Just sitting and staring at
the typewriter and avoiding
the issue as long as possible.
Raymond Chandler and I
discussed this once,
and he admitted to the most
bitter reluctance to commit
anything to paper."

[Part II]
"Q: Almost all the
humorous writers of your
period have worked in Hollywood.
How do you look back
on the time
you served there?
A: With revulsion.
I worked there sporadically
from 1931 to 1942, and
I can say in all sincerity
that I would have
spent my time
to better advantage
on Tristan da Cunha."


READINGS
Love for Sale

"Saraminda, with no
thought of past loves,
resolute and uninhibited,
stepped forward toward the audience
and raised her right hand,
her forefinger pointing upward,
and proclaimed:
I'm not part of the auction.
I belong to Cleto Bonfim.
I'm going with him and
I want to belong to him.
I know where he is and,
as far as I'm concerned,
the auction is over."

Drinking a Glass of Water
"'Milton, I can't reach for
that glass of water and
I think you have something
to do with it.'
Erickson said,
'Would you like to
have the water?'
John said, 'Yes.'
Erickson said,
'Well, you can have it.'
And John reached over and
took the glass of water
and drank it."


POETRY
The Woman
"He is the master of impulse,
You're the master of siege ---
She comforted the man.

[He's got spine,
You, a belly ---
That's what she wouldn't say.]"

A Poem of Hope
"There was no general damage to the treasury;
The masters think the attack was 'purely avuncular.'
The president's first counselor explained that love
Was neither here nor there. Nor, in his words,
Was it possible to survive life
Without all impossible dreams intact."

Great Poems of the Past
Two Korean Love Poems

"My American pants are hanging over the chair
in the corner with your Korean dress.
Over there they can decide foreign policy.
But here we are like two spoons
you and I
in the same warm bowl,
Buddha's bowl, where we, too
can barely open our eyes
having discovered the sweetness of one tongue,
the curves and folds of the inner walls
we breathe hardly at all."


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


GENERAL INDEX
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.


A PITHY SAMPLE
of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy
"FOLIO"


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T H E  F A C T S
Submitting Books
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Submitting Reviews
Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
History
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

lolitalark@yahoo.com


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