Writing, painting, sculpting, putting together a literary magazine—you have to be a little obsessive, or maybe a lot obsessive to pull it off. Coming on the heels of Christo's Gates—twenty-four miles of orange banners marching through New York's Central Park—we can't help but think that the best works of art are born out of obsession. Andrew Hultkrans writes of his year-long all-consuming obsession with surveillance in America. Celebrated artisanal perfumer Mandy Atfel confesses her one true passion—the unearthly essence of jasmine. Pinckney Benedict's mesmerizing story "Mudman" tracks the fortunes of a jealous farmer whose rage conjures a monster. In "A Forest Path," Bill Gaston's narrator, "Lava," is completely consumed with Malcolm Lowry, who may or may not be his father. And the always remarkable Frank Bidart remembers a decades-old glimpse of flesh over which he still smolders in "Phenomenology of the Prick."