...from the editor


This issue, months in the making, will leave you, I believe, aching for more. And why not? I hope you make yourself come back to these pages again and again…

I’m jealous of many of the works in this issue—both poem and image— believing this one or that one should have been mine… Why didn’t I see that, hear that, paint that? That’s the very nature of art, and why I never tire of the creative process.

Making the final selections for Winter 2004 was, for me, a painful process since I limited the issue to twelve poems. The task, while difficult, was a rewarding one. There are special writers and artists here, most appearing for the first time in BFR: William Doreski, Ioanna Warwick, Leslie Marcus, Hiroshi Watanabe, Natasha Sajé, David Niles, Jenny Jozwiak, Dan Sicoli, Joan Payne Kincaid, Thomas Wooten, Greg Stant, Rachel Dacus, Elena Ray, Tom Sheehan, and Fariel Shafee. An impressive list that surely make this issue a successful one.

Contributors familiar to these pages include Verga, Dodds, Fondakowski, Engler, Grenside, and Avery. I’m pleased with their return.

This past fall and deep into the winter, I convinced my head—and that truly didn’t take much prodding— that I should—to help me strengthen the special issue— immerse myself in films whose stories work, at some level, as journey. A sound argument. And what a list I came up with:
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick)
8 1/2 (Fellini)
Aguirre, Wrath of God (Herzog)
An Angel at My Table (Campion)
Apocalypse Now (Coppola)
L'Atalante (Vigo)
L'Avventura (Antonioni)
Dekalog (Kieslowski)
Do the Right Thing (Lee)
Le Mépris (Godard)
Mirror (Tarkovsky)
Paris, Texas (Wenders)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer)
Persona (Bergman)
Rashomon (Kurosawa)
Vertigo (Hitchcock)
I’m glad I did.

Finally, I leave you with these lines from a powerful poet that do explore the possibility of journey as art:
Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
For a drink of written water from a spring
whose surface will Xerox her soft muzzle?
Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?
Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth,
she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips.
Silence—this word also rustles across the page
and parts the boughs
that have sprouted from the word “woods.”
—from “The Joy of Writing” by Wislawa Szymborska
Trans. Stanislaw Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh

May you find your woods here.

Sam Rasnake

Current Issue - Winter 2004