The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

www.ralphmag.org

  Number 261

Late Spring 2015

FIFTEEN ALL-TIME HITS
Every day, in every way,
we are kept informed of our "hits" ---
the daily, weekly, hourly, monthly visits
that come to our pages online.
Here we present
a dozen or so of those
that receive the most attention
from our readers.

NEW TITLES
On Immunity
"Some call viruses machine-like,
"they enter a cell and force its equipment
to produce thousands more viruses.
But viruses strike me as more
supernatural than industrial --- they are zombies,
or body snatchers, or vampires."

Philip Larkin
"I doubt that the slightly licentious
romps of sixteen-year-old-girls is
the ultimate key to lines as gorgeous as,
I listen to money singing. It's like looking down
From long french windows at a provincial town,
The slums, the canal, the churches ornate and mad
In the evening sun. It is intensely sad."

Our Lady of the Nile
"When the gorillas saw that
other monkeys like them had become humans,
but had also become mean and cruel
and spent their time killing each other,
they refused to become humans."

Dead Water
"The assassin turns out to be
someone so bland and colorless that
I had completely forgotten who he was.
Or maybe I was asleep when he appeared."

The Birds of Pandemonium
"To a parrot, a loud, emotional response ---
even if you turn the air blue with the vilest of curses ---
is the equivalent of applause and
calls for an encore performance."

Doing It at the Dixie Dew
"Stay away from the dotty oldsters:
you'd think they'd be polite and attentive
but if you represent 'progress,'
they'll just as soon strangle your ass
before you can begin to croak 'Dixie Dew.'"

The Queen's Caprice
"There was a sticker
on the back window of
a charcoal gray Mercedes 300D:
Love for all, hatred for none ---
a worthwhile idea at first glance although
perhaps a trifle awkward to implement."

The Bird Skinner
"It ain't bird-watching.
You shoot a bird that interests you, and
do the skinning and preserving, as cleanly,
neatly, and as artistically as possible,
recreating the bird as it appeared
before you shot it."

Great Reviews of the Past
The American Creation
"Washington was driven to distraction by
the troops who would come and go as they pleased.
He gave orders for them to
stop relieving themselves wherever, and
to stop frolicking buck-naked in
the Schuylkill River,
distressing the neighboring ladies of quality."

Lanterns on the Prairie
"One said 'the librettist is no poet
and the musician no composer,' and the audience,
according to another writer, hissed, shrieked, and whistled.
The still shots of plump German singers in headdress and buckskin
is enough to freeze a good music-lover's heart."


LETTERS
Kosher Goyim

MORE LETTERS
Thieves in Wheelchairs

EVEN MORE LETTERS
Offer from the Libyan Government


ARTICLES
The Huwoman Race
"And if the cripples take over, look out.
In this dystopia, everyone will be required to have a bathroom
that's as big as a dance hall and with those
ugly monkey bars bolted to the wall around the toilet to boot.


READINGS
Perceptions of Risk vs. Real Risks
"We harbor anxiety about things that,
statistically speaking, pose us little danger.
We fear sharks, while mosquitoes are,
in terms of sheer numbers of lives lost,
probably the most dangerous creature on earth."

Great Readings of the Past
The Louisiana Purchase
"Politically, the Louisiana Purchase was
the most consequential executive decision in American history,
rivaled only by Harry Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb in 1945.
The fact that the man who made the decision, Thomas Jefferson,
was on record as believing that any energetic projection
of executive power was a monarchical act
only enhanced the irony."


POETRY
Mr. Pou & the Alphabet
"T is for Turks whom we take by the beard.
U is for utterr-don't-know-where-to turn.
V is for vowels the Pou is to learn.
(So vivid splendid subjects hide ahead,
the stars, the grasses, asses and wisemen, letters and the word.)
W's for why, which ask and ask."

The Hell Poem
"Hospital racket, nurses' iron smiles.
Jill & Eddie Jane are the souls.
I like nearly all the rest of them too
except when they feed me paraldehyde."

Great Poems of the Past
Letter to the Dead
"Some habits, rivers, and forests are lost.
Nobody sits in front of his house anymore
or takes in the breezes of afternoon,
but we have amazing computers
that keep us from thinking."


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


OUR NEW POETRY BOOK
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.

OUR RECENT ANTHOLOGY
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."


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.


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 here all thirteen riotous issues.


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


SUBSCRIBE
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.
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.
Hits
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

lolitalark@yahoo.com


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