The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities
15 Lost Poems
When we put out
The Vivisection Mambo,
our brilliant poetry anthology
we found we had left out some winners.
We list them here in order of subtle
if not arrant
The Drug Hunters
"There are few medical inventions
in history that transformed the basic fabric
of society so quickly and so dramatically.
It ultimately made it possible for Gloria Steinem to declare,
When the Pill came along we were able
to give birth - - - to ourselves."
"Take the female orb weavers,
who secrete superglue that entraps the male.
It's like a roach motel: he checks in and can't check out.
Which gives her ample chance to chow down on him.
He thought he was getting a night in the sack
and he turns into his love's Tasty Kake."
Police at the Station
And They Don't Look Friendly
"He is surprised
by some thugs in the house of a young lady
(you understand, he only went there to
protect her from her violent boy friend),
finds himself in a vast Holocene forest,
in handcuffs, trailed by
two men and a woman.
All with guns."
Burmese Monk's Tales
"The seventy-one tales in this book,
rather than being staid and tedious messages of divine wisdom,
are lively - - - sometimes even bawdy - - - stories of laymen
creating problems for themselves through ignorance,
greed, or lust."
Al Capone's Beer Wars
"Portraits include such colorful characters as
Daniel McGeoghegan (chinless), Aphonse Capone (white fedora, smiling),
Tony Lombardo (black fedora, sullen), "Three-Fingered" Jack (hand not shown),
"Gloomy Gus" Schaefer (gloomy), "Tough Tony" Capezio (tough, tony),
"Dingbat" O'Berta (passed on, bloody),
Lorenzo Juliano (passed on, bloodless)."
FDR on His Houseboat
"FDR's lack of recovery
was proof-perfect of that old lie:
if you work hard enough, you can overcome anything.
No one struggled more than he did
in these three years, to the point of abandoning
his life and law practice in New York and
sailing about for three or four months
in the winter of each year."
The Art of Death
"By citing fifty other writers and
over eighty books in a hundred and seventy page pamphlet
might be something of overkill, at the worst
putting it on the level not so much of a meditation
but more of a doctoral dissertation."
The Urban Fox
"The reader may be forgiven for
thinking that Virgin Flight #370 had wandered off course,
crashing into the local pub; but it is, thank god,
merely an errant sycamore; certainly, in sound alone,
an exquisitely poetic word that might well have been
Great Reviews from the Past
The Last Prince of Mexico
"The fevers and malarias of the coast,
the backstabbing in court, and the general frustration
of the Austrians, the French and the English with
the supposedly docile Mexicans.
One of the queen's servants comments on the no's.
"With these Mexicans it is nada, nada, and nada."
"The Netsilik Eskimos have constructed
a miniature replica cathedral --- some twelve feet tall ---
of Le Mont-Saint-Michel, made out of ice blocks, dew-drip snow and blubber.
The Kuuvanmuit of Kobuk River have demonstrated
their admiration of Frank Lloyd Wright by making
a 10% scale copy of Fallingwater, complete
with icy stream, cold air
C. M. Mayo and
Human Heart, Cosmic Heart
Ich Habe Genug
The BBC's Bach Christmas
"For those of us who have a place
in our hearts for the vocal works of Bach,
it was a dream, a musical pleasure palace, a ten-day
saturnalia of the effusions of the baroque, where counterpoint and
musical invention reigned non-stop, carrying us as close
to the earthly paradise as we could hope and
imagine in this lifetime."
What's Love Got to Do with It?
"He wasn't simply relieved and grateful and shaken
by the experience of having undergone a heart transplant.
He started to hang out in places that were mostly frequented by African Americans.
He became friends with African American co-workers whom he had previously
shunned and found no common ground with.
He even seemed to walk differently."
The First Painless Operation
"Nineteenth-century surgeons were trained
to expect surgery to be a bloody affair, full of writhing and screams,
a task that must be completed as hastily as possible.
That might be why it took a non-surgeon
to imagine the possibility of surgery without pain - - -
a Boston dentist by the name of William T. G. Morton."
"Ants will be my staple.
I've tried one,
snapping it up,
swallowing it whole.
For balance, I'll chomp
the occasional grasshopper,
beetle or spider."
"And now I've got a pulsar in my chest
straightening out the electric mumble,
the concertina suck-back and wheeze - - -
a 60,000 dollar titanium transmitter
with added shock value to set you straight
should the circuitry hit a snafu, the ventricle
spasm for love, loss of blood, or fatigue."
SURPRISE TOP POP HIT OF THE MONTH
The ALC We Do Not See
"Africa is the media's go-to continent
for tragedy, violence, despair, disease.
Art, Literature & Culture in Africa may just not compute
for many at the mass media factories'
editorial assignment desks."THE OFFICIAL RALPH
OUR RECENT POETRY BOOK
The Vivisection Mambo
was recently published in quality antique typeset style.
It consists of 125 poems of the new Neo-Realist School,
many appearing here for the first time.
In a starred review, Kirkus called it
A fine anthology of some of the best contemporary poetry around.
AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THIS MAGAZINE
The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World
was published over three years ago.
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 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
In our General Index, from day one,
we have given stars to those titles that
our editors deemed to be of "especial merit."
You can now find them all here,
listed alphabetically by title.
THE FESSENDEN REVIEW
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.
A PITHY SAMPLE
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.
The best way to get books to RALPH for review.
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
Mho & Mho Works
A Dozen or so Books from Our Foundation's Publishing Arm
Behind the Scenes
The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
The Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Fund, Inc.
2015 - 2016
476,768 Unique Visitors
1,645,139 Page Hits
Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176