Issue 109 / Spring 2011

STORIES Maury Feinsilber Galatea in Situ      Billy O’Callaghan Forty-One Is Not Old      Nicholas Rinaldi The Gods Wear Funny Hats     John Haggerty The Language of Fireflies     Steven Bloom A Work of Fiction     Julie Woods Karnes The Family Man     James Brubaker Oh, Yoko     Jim Nelson Inside the Footnote     Carolyn Kegel Crazy Legs     Devin Murphy The Olean Football Roster     Susan Sonde Down Time     Deborah Baker DIY     Craig Curtis Anatomy     

POEMS Daniel Tobin Orpheus in Second Life      William Kelley Woolfitt Red Notes     Bruce F. Kawin Star     Matthew Murrey Blower     Doug Ramspeck Original Bodies     Brady Rhoades 1947     Lorraine Schein In the Luck Factory     Twixt Electric Lines     Derek Henderson from memoranda     Oliver Rice A Reckless Progress     Edward Adams Hodges Today I Thought of You     David Blomenberg Wedding Party     Variations on Three Dreams of Water     Marcia L. Hurlow Visiting Scholar     Christine Hope Starr Plastic Explosive     Vlado Kreslin (translated by Urska Charney) Instead of Whom Does the Flower Bloom     From the Slovene     Fox DeMoisey Night’s Last Nocturne     Wanda S. Praisner The Love Ring     Jack Granath Body Packing     Amanda V. Mead Gone     Matt Schumacher cocktails crow like roosters

ESSAYS AND MEMOIRS Christopher Thorton Letter from Iran: Voices from the Streets     Kathleen Spivak Talents in a Teapot: Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, and Boston



From the editor’s desk

Editor’s Remarks

For the first time in its over 40 years of continuous publication, Confrontation is including in its pages a section devoted to the visual arts. Why break precedence with the magazine’s own history, some might ask. Or—another legitimate question—why put paintings in a magazine devoted to literature?

We have a number of reasons for initiating this new section. One is that we have always been an eclectic magazine, open to writing with a variety of perspectives on the world and on the human, open also to beginning writers as well as established ones. Why not, we asked ourselves, push the idea of eclecticism a little further? Another reason for the change is that we wanted to enhance the visual appearance of the magazine. We also wished to give our readers an additional source of aesthetic pleasure. Literature has its own considerable and powerful aesthetic impact, of course, rooted in the beauty and extraordinary capacity of language to move us emotionally, spiritually, sensuously, and intellectually. Words make shapes, lasting shapes, on the page and in our memory and hearts. Language has Confrontation’s deepest loyalty, and particularly the language that in its shapeliness, its suppleness, and its complexity, engenders literature.

But out there, just beyond sight, we felt the visual arts beckoning us to new shores. While they have a different vocabulary from literary art—proportion, texture, color, mass and the like—they share the intention to delight (in the broadest sense of the word), to create a world, to unseal our eyes, to move us away from the routine and the customary, away from the unseeing life. In a quiet or a dramatic way, all art can ravish us. And if art doesn’t always humanize us, it does remind us of what it means to be human, something we think we always know, but frequently need to be reminded of.

Hence in this issue we are delighted to share with our readers a few paintings by the artist Esteban Vicente, an immigrant who left Spain during the Civil War in the 1930’s and settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Years later, he also lived, as did and still do many other artists, on the East End of Long Island, where the land runs out and the water flows unimpeded to Europe. He is in that sense a local painter, or rather, once he left Europe, he became a local painter. An abstract expressionist and member of the New York School (a large group of artists which included Willem de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, Cy Twombly and Mark Rothko), Vicente was clearly influenced by the oceanside light and by the open land and immense skyscapes of the East End. Our choice of his work was inspired by recent exhibitions of Vicente’s work at the Parrish Museum in Southampton, New York, and at the Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery in Manhattan.

Jonna Semeiks

Selected Highlights:

Forty-One Is Not Old

After so long, and so much effort, they decided, without discussing the matter, to give up trying. This made life easier, if a little more empty. Margaret took up sewing; James became more serious about his reading, with vague intentions of perhaps writing something himself at some distant point in the future. Their apartment was...

Galatea in Situ

He was too busy being ten years old to notice that his mom had left her brushes immersed in the jar. They sat there, in the sunlight, in the little glassed-in side porch that was her studio, the turpentine slowly evaporating and leaving rings inside the jar the color of pennies left long in the...
The Art of Esteban Vicente

The Art of Esteban Vicente

Esteban Vicente was born in Turegano, Segovia Province, Spain, at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1903. Almost 98 years later, he died in Bridgehampton, New York, in 2001. His lifetime journeys—artistic, intellectual and political—make his experience and the evolutionary path of his creative powers an extraordinary example of how the century’s social transitions...

Plastic Explosive

In front of me a woman walks a man
with that leash of a look before goodbye,
stalled by a delay with someone’s straw bag,

Original Bodies

All of it. The hypnosis of the tupelos, possumhaw,
and willows. The skin of night stretching taut
like a drum. The view from the back porch where

The Olean Football Roster

We all grew up within biking distance of the city park in Olean, which sat in western New York’s southern tier at the crossroads of the rustbelt and the northernmost foothills of Appalachia. The park had basketball courts with these tectonic cracks that made the surface too uneven to play on, a baseball diamond with...

Red Notes

Tomatoes all day, he unloads the crates,
nozzle-washes each red Globe, each red
Bonny Best, feeds them through the box of steam.