Issue 110 / Fall 2011

STORIES Paul Zimmerman Full Remittance    John Matthew Fox Drive-by Horoscope    Theodore Wheeler The First Night of My Down-and-Out Sex Life    Annalisa Grier Diamondback    Marvin Shackelford Cannibals in the Neighborhood    Kevin Adler The Lake in Winter    Peter Stenson You May Know Me as the E-Trader Baby    Aubrey Hirsch No System for Blindness    Peter Levine Often Remembered    Doug Swift The Sinking Boy    Eric Wasserman The Job    Liza Costello The Strangler Tree    Barbara Ann Porte Marilyn Monroe in Heaven

POEMS Zoe Donaldson Nonesuch    Henry Darger Writes a Love Poem    Thomas March Summer City Morning, after a Sudden Storm    Abby E. Murray Shortly before the World Ended    James K. Zimmerman Since Evolution Is Just a Theory: The Birth of Sex    Kate Robinson after hours, off the cross    Kate Asche Hand Song    Kathleen Kirk Last Day in Cuba    Jacqueline Kolosov Abide with Me    Jim Papa The Fallow Sea    The White Moon    Corrine Elysse Adams A Boring Suicide    Thomas Hawks Standard Time    Dudley Laufman Stove

ESSAYS AND MEMOIRS Robert Aquinas McNally The Healing of the Wild    Laura Jean Baker Sixpence    Christopher Thorton The Day after, the Way Forward: Letter from Egypt    Irene O’Garden Walking South



From the editor’s desk

Editor’s Remarks

We are pleased to publish, in this issue, the prize-winning poem of Confrontation’s 2011 Poetry Contest, “Nonesuch.” Written by Zoe Donaldson, a young poet who graduated Bates College in Maine just this past spring, “Nonesuch” is an elegy for her father, and the form it takes—a villanelle—was inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s villanelle “One Art.” Donaldson also submitted another poem, “Henry Darger Writes a Love Poem,” which we are pleased to print here as well.

The poet left Maine after graduating and now lives in New York, which certainly has a less-challenging climate, even if its other challenges are formidable. (But is there any place in the United States where the young—as well as the not so young—are not facing challenges in 2011?) Donaldson works at Poets House in lower Manhattan, a splendid, largely glass building overlooking the broad Hudson River, close to where the Twin Towers were prior to 9/11, and where their replacement, the Freedom Tower, is steadily rising into the air. The area is thus a site of energetic creation and civilization. Poets House is the preeminent center for poetry in the United States, and it is an enviable place for a young poet to work. But Donaldson is not stopping here: she intends to pursue an MFA in poetry sometime within the next few years and of course to continue writing poetry.

We would like to thank, once again, all the poets who submitted poems to Confrontation’s 2011 Poetry Contest. Around our offices, Belinda Kremer, Confrontation’s Poetry Editor, radiated pleasure at the number of submissions and the chance to read your work.

Jonna Semeiks


Selected Highlights:


For James R. Donaldson III

Your face flashes in the road when I cross nonesuch river.
What a stupid name, we might have said—one thought, our own.

Often Remembered

He is in the airport. Palm Springs. He’s finished a golf weekend with a buddy who was getting married. They were all old friends from school, and they’d had a time. He’s sitting outside on a small patio having a beer, reading the USA Today they left for him in the hotel room, and he...

You May Know Me as the E-Trader Baby

You may know me as the E-Trader Baby—the phenom that is the stock-talking infant from the commercials—but the name’s Thurman Hendricks. I know, Thurman. Thanks, Dad, like, sorry I turned out white and not linebacker-sized. But whatever, play the hand you’re dealt. And that’s what I keep telling myself lately, play the hand you’re dealt....

Drive-By Horoscope

Every morning on the way to his mother’s, Flanners drove past the local church. It was an old one, designated as a landmark because of the bell tower, and attended on Sundays by a few elderly parishioners who sputtered up in tank-like sedans. Flanners had never attended. He got everything he needed from the rectangular...

Full Remittance

My friend Alan asked me to kill his father. He was joking, sort of. There’s 200,000 already in an offshore account, he told me. He was smiling. Laughing. Joking, clearly. His father was a bad man. The rest of the family had been in litigation against him for a long time. Legal fees were running...


The first time Leo died before my eyes, he was two months old. I dropped him on a sidewalk in downtown Milwaukee as I exited a restaurant, the first consequential faltering of my lifetime. Holding a juice drink, clutching Leo between my forearm and chest, I missed a step, tossed the cup, and fell forward,...

There Isn’t Much Poetry

In this, my life
the back and forth
the running of yellow lights

Since Evolution Is Just a Theory: The Birth of Sex

so when A & E woke up one brilliant morning
in The Garden it dawned on them that they were
naked and they were hot and in shape but E

The White Moon

Some want love, and some to live again
the worn rosaries of the past.

But I want to sleep with the wood duck
The Art of Claudio Bravo

The Art of Claudio Bravo

On June 4 of this year, Chilean artist Claudio Bravo died at age seventy-four from complications of epilepsy at his home in Taroudant, Morocco. The following appreciation of the artist and his work, by New York University art historian Edward J. Sullivan, is adapted and updated from the essay “Claudio Bravo: Perceiving the Seen,” which...