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Animals

State

your name for purposes of identification

how can I when it’s failed

better a border made of water

harder to cross

each seed is different

like each tongue

how many heads

was the right question to ask

Bottleglass

go ahead tread on me
see if I care I am already
unhuggable as a cactus
and too big to fit on any
lap keep your excuses
short or better yet keep
them to yourself any

The New World

Do I have to talk about fear? 
So much has already been said 
about hidden spiders, compass needles
lodged in the soft of an eye. 

Marc Burckhardt’s Notes to Self

Recently, painter Marc Burckhardt has been in a deep “visual conversation” with literature—specifically, with Petrarch’s Triumphs, a sequence of poems from the Italian Renaissance in which Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity each overcomes the other. Burckhardt first came across Triumphs nearly a year ago, while working on a series based on Dante’s Inferno. As he often does with literary works, he looked into their visual history, and in doing so found “a deep well of imagery—stuff I recognized through a kind of peripheral appreciation.” Since then, working between studios in Austin, Texas, and Bremen, Germany, he’s has been studying, sketching, crumpling sketches, starting over, and taking notes for a series of allegorical paintings that reflect his personal connection to Petrarch’s themes, to be included in an October show at Gallery Shoal Creek, in Austin, Texas.

The Story of My Teeth.  By Valeria Luiselli.  Translated by Christina MacSweeney. Coffee House, 2015. 184p. PB, $16.95.

The Art of the Steal

As we discussed some of his favorite authors—from Heinrich von Kleist and Virginia Woolf to Jack Kerouac and Jayne Anne Phillips—Doctorow asked: “What can you steal from these writers?”

Photo by Andrew Kornylak

Forty Acres and a Year

Even with the challenge of below normal rainfall, spring turned out to be a beautiful time of year at Charlane Plantation. While the drought continues, the good news is that we have had rain at critical times, which for the most part has kept the woods green and beautiful—and the wildlife happy and healthy.