In these marvelous pages, the award-winning poet turns a searching gaze toward the shared habitat and intertwined fates of man and animal. He looks back and forward in time, down at the soil, up at the stars, and deeply into his personal relationships.

Brooks Haxton has been writing for years about the connections between human beings and the creatures we find fascinating. Mister Toebones, his new collection, draws its title from a nickname Haxton gives to a daddy longlegs he sees at his father's grave. In another poem, the poet and his mother, in search of a swimming hole, find a copperhead rearing to strike, about to birth its live young. Elsewhere, waist-deep in the Mississippi River, under the Atlantic Ocean, on the cracked ice of a frozen pond, even in outer space, the poet explores regions and forces that seem past endurance. Taking stock of threats against human survival, our own recklessness chief among them, these poems seek among visionaries and despots, scientific prodigies, murderers, and lovers what vitality may come from an alertness to all living things.
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