R  A  L  P H
  The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities

Volume XXV, Number 2

Late Late Spring 2001

 
REVIEWS

The Last Cheater's Waltz
"If you are a toad in the Chihuahuan Desert,
nature has designed a simple strategy for reproducing yourself.
It rains. You sing. You copulate.
Very quickly."


The Seven Ages
by Louise Glück

"At worst, if she has the time,
she might take a gander at the Spasmodic School of Poetry
of mid-19th Century England. It might help
get some life to her words, make them jump about some."


The Art of Warfare on Land
"Napoleon had massed, all-enveloping piles, which tormented him
at Waterloo. You cannot develop grand strategy on the battlefield
if you can barely stand to stay on your horse for more than a couple of hours.
Thus, he may not have been all that able ere Elba,
merely because he forgot his daily dose of docusate sodium."


Great Reviews of the Past
Bordertown
"If what we have here is any example of his talents,
we would urge Jesse Helms to get on it at once ---
to thrash him on the floor of the Senate for pure artistic smarm,
and take away any past, present, or future grants
pending from the NEA."


RALPH's Top Pop Hits
The most popular book reviews, essays and readings
from Ralph's first seven years --- being those
that have received the most number of hits
over the last few weeks.


BRIEF REVIEWS
Tunnel Kids,
William Howard Taft, and
The Metaphysical Poets


ARTICLES
A Geezer in Paradise
Part I
"Biting into it is not unlike biting
into the skin of your sweet young love back 40 years ago
when her skin was so succulent, her flesh hot and ever ready
to be nibbled on and love was everywhere, floating up before you
like a steamy vision, and you could hardly make it
through the day without this passionate love of warm flesh
rising up on you like a fecund summer storm to sweep you along
with the protein-rich smell of it."

Part II
"Suddenly there before us, bearing down on us at high speed
are two trucks, big trucks, side-by-side, one of them a Pemex truck
presumably filled with several thousand gallons of high octane gasoline,
both trucks coming at us and not very far away,
not far at all."

Great Articles From the Past
Beautiful Summer in New Jersey
"But I could never forget,
can never forget, will never forget you, Paul ---
the smears of blood down the hallway, and on the edges
of the white porcelain tub. And despite your battered face the next day,
I kept thinking: How strange, that Paul should have
such a bad nose-bleed. How strange..."



POETRY
The Fresno Poets: I
"The year my grandmother learned
to read English novels and fell in love
with David Copperfield and Oliver Twist
which she read to me seated on a stool
beside my bed until I fell asleep."

The Fresno Poets: II
"You chop, step, and by the end of the first row,
You can buy one splendid fish for wife
And three sons. Another row, another fish,
Until you have enough and move on to milk,
Bread, meat. Ten hours and the cupboards creak."


LETTERS
Yeats, Geezers in Mexico,
Richie Havens and
Malignant Self Love

"The reviewer of Malignant Self Love is either a Narcissist himself
(intimated by his inability to give credibility to Dr. Sam
because he is not a health professional)
or as is more likely simply totally ignorant of the subject matter at hand."


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


HELP
Perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
Subscribe, and get a free copy of one of the newest titles from
Mho & Mho Works
along with a print-out of some of our most pithy reviews, in
The Folio


TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Listing of All Issues of RALPH


THE PREVIOUS RALPH
This will lead you to our last issue ---
and, from there, back to the previous sixty or so,
to our earliest which appeared during
the cold wet winter of 1994-1995.

T H E  F A C T S
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 twenty-five years.     
The Fessenden Fund
Other activities of RALPH's godparents, including
Mho & Mho Works

Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719, San Diego CA 92176
poo@cts.com


Go to the previous RALPH        Go to the newest RALPH        Go to the next RALPH

READINGS
Two from "The London Review of Books"

The Invisible Enemy
"We have shrunk the jungles,
and think we have mastered all wild things,
but those shrunken forests conceal the carriers of viruses
which could wreak terrible destruction."

Japan and Capitalism
"US procurements for the Korean War supplied hard currency,
well before the Japanese export industry was able to earn its own.
Reputedly, the first $200 million came from the earnings
of Japanese "pan-pan" girls entertaining US troops
on R&R, from Korea."