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

Volume XXVII, Number 2

Mid-Fall 2001

 
NEW LISTINGS
Mountain City,
Gates to Buddhist Practice, and
Quitting the Nairobi Trio


REVIEWS
The First World War
"The war on the Western Front
is unique but not very interesting.
It is no wonder that there are
so few good films or war novels about it.
Quite simply, it is difficult to construct a plot
around 44 months of stalemate.
But there is a story to be told.
Little happened, but millions died."


Truer Than True Romance
"She comes around the corner to see Wayne
having a tete-a-tete with that lamebrain Marsha,
and she says to herself, The horror... the horror...
Then, the next day, That three-hour shower did me
a world of good. I haven't thought about death
once since breakfast."


The Same Sea
"We cannot here begin to capture Oz-magic.
He's all you could want in a novelist: funny, heartbreaking,
outrageous. He can sew together a plot that will knock your socks off.
He knows hearts, old and young. He shares the good
and the bad of love --- old love, new love ---
and loves to tell. Most of all, he, or rather
he and his translator are dynamite with words."


Great Reviews of the Past
A Practical Guide to Aging
"I was feeling pretty good when I picked this one up,
but felt like an old balloon by the time I started skipping over the chapters like
"Easing the Pain of Dying," and "Illness and Alienation."
Why don't these fancy-dan ageologists
(or whatever the hell they call them)
do a study on the depression that comes from
knowing too much about what's waiting for us down
the last turnpike."


BRIEF REVIEWS
The Cabin in the Woods,
Medical Stuff by Richard Selzer, and
The Buddha Book.


ARTICLES
Shlug Kapores

"I had to go all the way
to the slaughterhouse in Johnston,

he cries, as he pops open the top
to reveal two live chickens, shrieking in terror,
emerging from their box, white,
but covered with brown liquefied feces."

Nineteen Wilful Men
Part I
"Those white flags,
for some sad reason, reminded me of the scraps of paper,
hastily-scrawled notes, that, they tell us,
were found along the tracks, there where
the trains bound for Triblinka, Buchenwald, and Auschwitz
had passed in the night."

Part II
"We were off by more than
a year-and-a-half because disasters,
like history and love, are never kind enough
to come exactly on schedule.
Thus, the 21st Century arrived at
8:45 in the morning, 11 September 2001."


READINGS
Menstrual Modesty

"The entire Federal Cabinet
was pelted with tampons and pads,
and politicians were confronted by
women carrying signs that read I bleed and I vote.
One woman even dressed up as a tampon."

Garbology: Part I
"What they did was to station observers
in mess halls to record the types of food that were
most commonly wasted and the volume of waste by type of food.
The result, after 2.4 million man-meals had been observed,
was a textbook example of how garbage studies
can produce not only behavioral insights
but also practical benefits."

Garbology: Part II
Slops (Garbage Project code number 069)
comprise a stew of such things as coffee grounds, fruit parts,
rotten vegetable bits, cigarette butts, grit of unknown origin,
and the sort of gooey canned mush epitomized by Chef Boyardee ravioli;
somehow, in the course of every garbage bag's journey from kitchen to truck,
all of these substances find one another
and intimately coalesce."


POETRY
Two by Henry J. Morro
Marilyn Monroe Is Dead
"When Marilyn Monroe stepped on that iron grate,
her skirt billowing like a parachute,
I fell in love with her white skin and her blond hair,
and when I returned home
I broke the mariachi music on the stereo..."
Eruptions
"The baby in her womb
is only six-tenths of an inch long.
When we make love
we resonate through its spine,
its arms and legs soft
buds in the mist
of a one-hundred-degree night."


LETTERS
Reginald A. Fessenden,
The Deluged Civilizations of the Caucases and
Stolen Mail


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Titles, authors, and publishers
of all books reviewed in RALPH ---
arranged chronologically.


THE PREVIOUS RALPH
This will lead you to our last issue ---
and, from there, back to the previous sixty-eight 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 7272, San Diego CA 92167
poo@cts.com


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