Recently I fell in love … with reading … again.

During last year’s unspeakably bad pandemic winter, reading was impossible. To get my art fix, I mainlined old movies — the noir-er the better. I was zombified in front of my TV and let my social skills rust while beefy dudes in suits shot other beefy dudes in suits. It wasn’t a bad way to pass the time. But I missed reading. I was grateful that working on Whiskey Tit Journal kept me engaged with new writing because otherwise I couldn’t focus long enough to read anything dense. 

As I pulled issue six together, I spent a lot of time thinking about why I love reading. It was Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall that reignited my love. This slim novel didn’t look promising at the outset. I counted two strikes against it: It was post-apocalyptic and a wilderness survival novel. I already live in the apocalypse and I grew up in the woods, so I’ve had my fill of both, thank you very much. Once I got it from the library, I couldn’t believe I’d fallen for the recommendation of a podcast (a goddamn podcast!). Oh me of little faith.

The Wall is a luminous book full of wonder and deep appreciation for growing plants and caring for animals, for the rhythms of birth and death that govern us no matter how much we try to obscure it with modernity. I felt a renewed appreciation for the land around me, for the miracle of food and the beauty of birds in flight. 

That’s why I love reading. Through storytelling and poetic images we find endless ways to make the old new again, to find hidden truths, to find ourselves and each other no matter the darkness. After so much loss, a book was able to remind me of how much I still had. And this was done without despicable, cloying, live-laugh-love platitudes. Instead, it was a woman who has lost everything finding joy in growing beans. 

I’m reminded of this quote from Gaston Bachelard in The Poetics Of Space, “The minute we apply a glimmer of consciousness to a mechanical gesture, or practice phenomenology while polishing a piece of old furniture, we sense new impressions come into being beneath this familiar domestic duty. For consciousness rejuvenates everything, giving a quality of beginning to the most every day actions.”

I hope the pieces in this issue provide that rejuvenation, that sense of expansion that only art can bring. By pure luck, several of the pieces in this issue involve difficult and unloving parents. I hope this will serve as succor to those of us who dread the holiday season and its mandatory family time. On the flip side of the coin, we also have glorious paintings by Ron Mosman presented by his daughter Miki. 

You’ll also find attention-seeking liars, wine for cats, river ghosts, and pandemic sexting in this issue. Bon Appetit!

Meagan Masterman

Managing Editor

Issue 6, November 2021


When you nervously asked me for nudes you did not specifically request a...

Four Cento Quilts

 The Eco-Gnomics of Love  If asked to arrange an introductory lecture on love...

How I Buried My Mother

Although the title of this work infers that I have completed the burial...

How Not to Date Bruce Willis

I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that Sara Jane lied about dating...


The gravel crunches pleasingly underneath the wheels of Mom’s Chevy Caprice like a...


I. The driver’s seat window was shattered. Headlights smashed. Pieces of orange and...

Soaked to the Bone in a Savannah Graveyard

Ash Branch Church Road. Rice & ice cubes for lunch the next day...

Strange Gatherings

Strange Gathering [5]             after John Berryman When this is over, I’ll want  to...

Taking Little Larry to the Liquor Store

 Mom put bottles filled with brown on the liquor store counter. She smiled...

The Ghost of Taunton River

“Run!”“Ghost!”“It’s after us!”“Who’re you calling ‘it?’” I grumble as the three scraggly teens...

Twoteeth Street Repair

The handyman showed up to fix something that wasn’t broken                     Until he broke...

WTJ Artist Statement

Whenever I think about the soul of the artist, I’m drawn to the...

Whiskey Tit Journal’s Raison D’Être

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