Editor’s Note

Photo by Laura Grafham Knapp

Photo by Laura Grafham Knapp

After a long winter, it’s finally springtime in the world’s northern half. At least it is here, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. And with Spring in Oklahoma we exchange ice for wall clouds, snow for holes that open up in the sky and come down to rip up the earth. Lately it’s even seemed like the earth itself wants to tear apart–with all the earthquakes we’ve been having here, it seems like we’ve become a sort of locus for chaotic activity, manmade and not.

What I’ve always loved and hated about life here is that it seems like each new change in the seasons brings a shot at never seeing another one. But that’s the world, I suppose. In Oklahoma and elsewhere.

I say all this because life in this place,its chaos and destruction, with a journal whose mission statement is partially based around the very idea of place–can make the entire idea of the literary enterprise seem facile at times. And internationally, too, with that crazy NASA study predicting the end of civilization in the next twenty years or so, the outlook for the human race seems tentative in best.

Why make art, then? Why produce a magazine? Why read them?

Life itself and the question or not it will continue has always been and always will be a wait-and-see endeavor. I might not make it out of the room where I sit, writing this note. Hopefully I will.

What I do know about art is this–whenever I encounter something truly beautiful, I become more fully human. Art equals empathy, and empathy equals life fully lived.

My hope is that you, the reader, will find something here, in the pages of Collapsar 4, something that gets in your ear.  

I’ll let the work sing for itself. Hopefully you’ll hear something that brings you closer to all of us, and to the world in which we live, in which we breathe.

Nathan Knapp & James Brubaker
March 2014

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